KUNM Local
1:28 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

High Winds Still Pushing Smoke Into Albuquerque From AZ

Albuquerque, NM – Many New Mexicans were alarmed last night by heavy smoke in the Rio Grande Valley. It seemed like a wildfire must be nearby, but it was actually from the Wallow fire in southern Arizona.

Chuck Jones is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says high winds pushed the unusual amount of smoke into Albuquerque. A plume is still visible over communities like Cuba, Grants and Luna. "So it's northwest of Albuquerque but it is moving very slowly east," Jones says, "and it's not out of the question that the smoke could return to the Albuquerque metro area during the night tonight."

Meteorologists will be able to observe the smoke plume overnight. The New Mexico Department of Health advises residents to take special precautions, especially to protect the elderly, small children or people with health problems. You can stay inside and turn off swamp coolers to reduce exposure to smoke and ash from wildfires.