Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires information

[June 6, 2022 UPDATE] SMU-in-Taos welcomed the June Field School session to campus on June 6. Classes and activities are proceeding as scheduled. Firefighters have made significant progress in limiting the growth of the wildfires burning to the south and southeast of Taos.

Our campus, as well as the village of Taos, remains in a designated “gray” pre-planning phase for potential evacuation. This is an early and initial step used as a proactive measure only. An evacuation is not imminent, and no immediate action is needed.

University emergency personnel are keeping a close watch on the wildfires and are prepared for contingencies. Any change in the current situation will be updated on this site and communicated to those attending or planning to attend SMU-in-Taos.

May 31, 2022 Update

SMU-in-Taos concluded a successful May term and will welcome the June Field School session beginning on June 6. Classes and activities are proceeding as scheduled, as we continue to monitor the wildfires in Northern New Mexico.

Firefighters have made significant progress in containing and limiting the growth of the fire. SMU offers sincere gratitude to the fire crews, pilots, law enforcement, Forest Service and support personnel working continuously to combat the fires and keep residents and visitors safe.

Our campus, as well as the village of Taos, remains in a designated “gray” pre-planning phase for potential evacuation. This is an early and initial step used as a proactive measure only. An evacuation is not imminent, and no immediate action is needed. University emergency personnel are keeping a close watch on the wildfires and continue preparing for any contingencies. Barring a significant change, information about campus operations will be updated here on Monday, June 6.

May 23, 2022 Update

[May 23, 2022 UPDATE]SMU-in-Taos is currently open for May intersessions and for upcoming sessions in June and July. Classes and activities are proceeding as scheduled, as we continue to monitor the wildfires in Northern New Mexico.

Cooler weather and increased humidity have slowed the spread and firefighters have made some progress on containment. Our campus, as well as the village of Taos, remains in a designated “gray” pre-planning phase for potential evacuation. This is an early and initial step used as a proactive measure only. An evacuation is not imminent, and no immediate action is needed.

University emergency personnel are keeping a close watch on the wildfires and continue preparing for any contingencies. Additionally, students, faculty and staff in Taos are receiving daily information on the fire’s developments. Barring a significant change, information about campus operations will be updated here on Tuesday, May 31.

May 20, 2022 Update

[May 20, 2022 UPDATE]SMU-in-Taos is open for May and June intersessions. Classes and activities are proceeding as scheduled, but we wanted to update you on the latest status of the wildfires. You may have noticed that the U.S. Forest Service recently updated its evacuation map to show that the SMU-in-Taos campus (as well areas to the north, including the village of Taos, and south) are in a gray planning phase for potential evacuation. This is an early and initial step used as a proactive measure only. An evacuation is not imminent, and no immediate action is needed.

University emergency personnel are keeping a close watch on the wildfires and continue preparing for any contingencies. Additionally, students, faculty and staff in Taos are receiving daily information on the fire’s developments. Barring a significant change, information about campus operations will be updated here on Monday, May 23.

May 18, 2022 Update

[May 18, 2022 UPDATE] SMU-in-Taos is open. Currently, our campus remains fully operational with classes and activities proceeding as scheduled. We have campus leaders and SMU police in Taos who are closely watching the wildfires in Northern New Mexico and communicating daily with local fire and law enforcement responding to the situation.

Barring any significant changes, information about campus operations will be updated weekly on Mondays throughout the summer on this site. If important developments related to the fires could impact SMU-in-Taos, we will send emails and/or texts to students, faculty and staff in attendance and post that information here.

The Taos County Sheriff’s Office Facebook offers frequent updates on the fires, forest closures, evacuations and other information. Also, if you are driving into Taos for upcoming summer sessions or planning outdoor activities around campus during your stay, you may want to check the resources on this page.

May 17, 2022 Update

[May 17, 2022 UPDATE] SMU-in-Taos is open. Classes and activities are proceeding as scheduled. Wind is light and smoke is not currently a concern on campus. We continue to closely watch the wildfires in the area and communicate daily with local fire and law enforcement responding to the situation.

Some rainfall in the area helped firefighters make progress yesterday. But drier conditions and rising temperatures may fuel the wildfires again today. Evacuations are ongoing in some areas south and east of Taos.

Currently, our campus remains fully operational . However, the situation can change rapidly, so please continue to watch your email and texts, and keep your families informed because they are not receiving the information sent to students. Remember to check SMU Aware for updates.

May 16, 2022 Update

[May 16, 2022 UPDATE] The fires are still active and evacuations are ongoing in some areas south and east of Taos. Currently, our campus is not affected. However, the situation can change rapidly, so our staff members and SMU police on site are monitoring and preparing, just in case. Please continue to watch your email and texts, and keep your families informed since our updates are coming to you, not to them. Also, check SMU Aware for updates.

We are glad that you’ve arrived safely and are enjoying May term classes and other activities at SMU-in-Taos. We are continuing to keep a close watch on the wildfires in the area and are in touch with local fire and law enforcement responding to the situation.

A cold front moving through yesterday and overnight brought east winds that pushed smoke into the Taos Valley. The winds have now shifted and air quality in the Taos Valley has improved and should be good for the next few days. As you plan your outdoor activities, this interactive smoke map allows you to zoom into Taos to see the latest smoke conditions, and New Mexico Environmental Public Health has detailed information on how to protect your health on smokey days.

May 13, 2022 Update

[May 13, 2022 UPDATE] We hope you are looking forward to your trip to New Mexico for SMU-in-Taos. Our campus is open, and all classes/activities are still on schedule as we keep a close eye on the wildfires in the area. Staff on site reported a cool, beautiful morning with light winds and no visible site of smoke plumes over the mountain.

SMU police stationed at the Taos campus remain in daily contact with area fire and law enforcement as they monitor the direction and progress of the wildfires. Not much has changed since yesterday. The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires are burning southeast of our campus located on NM 518 road about 10 miles south of Taos. Wind direction yesterday slowed the spread of the fires which continue to move toward the northeast away from our campus. 

Also, as you travel to Taos, please keep in mind that some roads and highways along the perimeter of the fires may be closed. The main route to Taos and NM 518 between the village of Taos and our campus remain open. Check the New Mexico Road Closures map for specifics.  

We are continuing to closely monitor the situation which can change rapidly. Please watch your SMU email for updates and monitor SMU Aware for the latest information.

May 12, 2022 Update

[May 12, 2022 UPDATE] We are closely monitoring the wildfires in New Mexico and their potential impact on our campus near Taos. Currently, the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires are burning southeast of our campus, which is located south of Taos off NM 518 road. At this point, the campus is not affected, andall classes and activities are continuing as expected.

The latest indications are the fire will continue to move toward the northeast away from our campus. Some areas located east of our campus are preparing for the possibility of an evacuation as a precaution.

At times, plumes of smoke can be seen for miles, but visibility and air quality currently are not an issue on campus. However, as the fire moves, wind-blown smoke can reduce air quality and visibility which may affect your outdoor plans and activities during your stay in Taos. This interactive map allows you to zoom into Taos to see the latest smoke conditions, and New Mexico Environmental Public Health has detailed information on how to protect your health on smokey days. 

Also, as you travel to and from campus, keep in mind that roads and highways along the perimeter of the fires may be closed. Currently, NM 518 is closed south of our campus but is accessible between our campus and Taos. New Mexico Road Closures has a map of the latest road closures.  

Campus leaders and SMU police on site, as well as in Dallas, are preparing in case any evacuation or closures affect the Taos campus. While there is no imminent danger at this point, this situation can change rapidly, so please check your email frequently and review the information and resources listed before your departure to New Mexico. You can also get the latest updates at SMU Aware.

May 6, 2022 Update

[May 6, 2022 UPDATE] As you plan your visit to SMU in Taos, it’s important for you to know about wildfires in the area and their potential impact on your trip and activities. Currently, the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires are burning in the Gallinas Canyon, about 25 miles south of our campus.

Smoke from these wildfires may create a reduction in air quality and visibility, which can affect your outdoor plans and activities. This interactive smoke map allows you to zoom into Taos to see the latest smoke conditions, and New Mexico Environmental Public Health has detailed information on how to protect your health on smokey days.

Additionally, as you travel to and from campus, keep in mind that roads and highways along the perimeter of the fires may be closed. New Mexico Road Closures has a map of the latest road closures.  

Please review these resources before your departure and monitor SMU Aware for the latest updates and informational links.

We look forward to seeing you in Taos!