Cerro Pelado Fire At 45,602 Acres, 40% Contained, 1,078 Personnel Involved, Officials Concerned About Drone Activity


Night operations at the Cerro Pelado had a good shift Saturday.

Today, crews are working near the Peralta Ridge where a stand of timber has a lot of heat and needs attention, Great Basin #1 Incident Management Team PIO Mary Cernicek told the Los Alamos Reporter. Crews will be working to secure the edge above Road 280.

Crews will also continue chipping work along State Road 4 where a lot of personnel and equipment have been working.

Cernicek addressed the drone situation that caused aerial operations to be halted Saturday afternoon.

“It’s hugely dangerous and I don’t know how else to drive that home. If we don’t have that air support those firefighters are in danger. We are putting firefighters in canyons and we have to protect them while they are trying to stop the progression of this fire. It’s just critical that we are able to access our air support,” Cernicek said. “One drone can have a crippling effect on the entire firefighting operation.”

As of Sunday there are 1,078 personnel working on the fire. The breakdown includes:

Bureau of Indian Affairs 44
Bureau of Land Management 60
Forest Service 332
Fish & Wildlife Service 4
National Park Service 39
National Weather Service 2
State 156

Among those are 9 Type 1 hand crews and 14 Type 2 hand crews.