Cerro Pelado Fire 40% Contained; Residents And Employees Urged To Remain Vigilant

A news release from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office and the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office


The Cerro Pelado fire grew just 11 acres Saturday night, continuing a string of several days of smaller and smaller overnight growth since the fire began. It is now 45,602 acres and 40% contained.

See the most recent fire maps here.

The Laboratory and Los Alamos County remain in the “set” stage of “ready, set, go” but will consult with the fire team and NNSA to evaluate the status early this week. The Laboratory, including Triad and N3B, will remain on Maximum Telework until the status is changed to “ready.”

Los Alamos Public Schools will return to campus beginning Monday, May 16.

Thanks to favorable wind conditions, the incident management team will continue the direct attack on the fire with water, fire retardant and other assets along Forest Service Road 287 and in Alamo Canyon.

The Laboratory also is continuing its fire mitigation work, removing underbrush, downed limbs and other fire fuels from Lab property, and assisting firefighters at the northeast corner of the fire line, nearest the Lab and the County border.

The Great Basin Team 1 and community representatives will brief the community on the Cerro Pelado fire at 5:30 p.m. May 16 at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gym and streamed on the Cerro Pelado Facebook page. The public is welcome to attend in person or virtually through Zoom.

While the fire team is making good progress, emergency officials are concerned about new fires. Los Alamos County and Laboratory officials are urging Los Alamos residents to remain vigilant. The weather remains extremely dry, meaning fire risk is still high.

Both the County and the Laboratory have implemented stage 3 fire restrictions to prevent fire danger.

Los Alamos residents should report any violations of stage 3 fire restrictions to the Los Alamos Consolidated Dispatch Center at (505) 662-8222 or in the event of an emergency, dial 911. This will ensure any incident is properly investigated or addressed by fire officials and police. Violations of stage 3 restrictions on Lab property will be cause for disciplinary action. Employees should report irresponsible or dangerous fire behavior – such as throwing lit cigarettes onto the ground – to (505) 667-2400.

A new Type 2 fire team is scheduled to assume command of the fire on Thursday, May 19. 

Additional resources are available on the Laboratory’s web page and Los Alamos County’s webpage. Air quality updates can be found on the Laboratory’s air quality monitoring website and on AirNow. For fire-specific questions, please contact the Great Basin Team 1 by phone at (505) 312-4593, (303) 918-4004 or email at 2022.CerroPelado@firenet.gov.

Be sure to rely on official sources for the latest information on the Cerro Pelado fire, such as: