Sat June 29, 2013
Governor Urges Caution As July 4th Nears
Santa Fe skies are obscured by clouds and haze from area wildfires, but fire officials are reassuring residents that the smoky air does not pose immediate health risks for most people.
Several of the wildfires burning in New Mexico have been contained, but the Jaroso Fire northeast of Santa Fe is still raging uncontrolled. Wind is pushing smoke into populated areas of the state, and that has residents concerned.
Governor Susana Martinez was in Santa Fe today and said because of the intensity and rugged terrain near the fire, it’s still not safe for crews on the ground. Secretary of the State Department of Health, Retta Ward, warned people with health conditions and sensitivities to limit their outdoor exposure.
“If visibility is less than five miles all sensitive groups – people with heart or lung disease, pregnant women, young children, people over 65 should probably remain indoors until air quality improves,” Ward said. “If visibility is less than three miles, then everyone should probably limit their time outdoors.”
In Santa Fe, that means if you can't see the Sangre de Cristos from the north side of town, the smoke is thick enough to be a problem for the elderly and young children. The monsoon season could bring higher humidities and rainstorms to New Mexico as early as next week, but that means an increased risk of flooding near the burn scars of wildfires.