Storm clouds build over trees burned by the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire on a steep slope west of Chacon, Friday June 17, 2022. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

After burning for more than four months outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico, the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire complex is now 100% contained, fire managers announced Sunday.

The Hermits Peak Fire started April 9 and the Calf Canyon Fire started April 19. The two blazes later merged and became the largest wildfire in state history.

Both started as Forest Service burns that got out of control, prompting the federal agency to temporarily suspend such burns.

The total containment means that a control line has been completed around the fire’s perimeter, which can be expected to stop the fire’s spread.

“Before a fire is declared ‘out,’ it must first be contained, then controlled,” fire managers said in a news release. “There is still ongoing suppression repair, burned area emergency response (BAER), flooding mitigation and monitoring activities to be completed.”

Fire officials said monsoon rains are part of the reason they don’t expect any future growth.

The fire reached 341,735 acres in size. There are still 470 members of fire personnel assigned to the blaze.

New Mexico had a frenzied and deadly fire season. An elderly couple died in the McBride Fire in Ruidoso in the spring, and three Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies and a Bernalillo County firefighter died in a helicopter crash after fighting a fire in July.

There have also been deaths in Las Vegas from flash floods. The fire complex outside of town charred soil and trees, and the burned mountain slopes repelled water and caused flooding downstream.