LAS VEGAS, N.M. - The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire continues to devour the New Mexico landscape despite suppression coming from both the ground and the air.
Thursday marks one month since the fire began, with the Hermits Peak fire starting as a prescribed burn that got out of control. The cause of the Calf Canyon Fire is still under investigation.
Both fires merged at the end of April, becoming one large fire.
(Source: FOX Weather)
The fire has grown to 303,341 acres with only 34% containment as of Thursday.
More than 2,169 firefighters are working to extinguish the flames, while suppression efforts continue from the air with the help of helicopters and airplanes.
The fire has been divided into three zones: East Zone, West Zone and South Zone.
The West Zone includes:
- Taos County
- Mora County west of the New Mexico Highway 434 corridor to the San Miguel County line
The East Zone includes:
- Colfax County and Mora County east of the 434 corridor, south to the San Miguel County line
The South Zone includes:
- Areas of the fire that lies within San Miguel County
Luckily, the fire’s movement in the South Zone was minimal on Wednesday. The zone’s entire eastern perimeter remained dormant and has held through strong winds reported in the area. However, firefighters will stay in that area to ensure the fire is contained and will conduct structure protection.
In the East Zone, crews continued to work on securing containment lines from the Black Lake area to Sierra Bonita, with structure protection also taking place. Other containment lines were also constructed from Guadalupita north to Sierra Bonita.
In the West Zone, bulldozers, helicopters and airplanes were all actively dropping fire retardant on the flames with the hope that it could slow the spread of the fire. Officials said the challenge on Thursday would be trying to keep the fire west of New Mexico Highway 518 while the dry conditions, strong winds and hot temperatures continue.
Thousands of residents were told to leave the area because of the fire, and nearly 200 homes have been burned so far.
For more information on evacuation orders, click here.
(Source: FOX Weather)
The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire is now the largest in New Mexico's history.
The Whitewater-Baldy Fire burned nearly 300,000 acres in 2012 and previously held the record of being the largest fire in the state's history.
The Las Conchas Fire, which occurred in 2011, burned 156,593 acres.