Smoke Impacts from Wildfires Today

May 18, 2012

Smoke from wildfires in New Mexico and Arizona is expected to be noticeable across both states until at least this afternoon. The National Weather Service says windy and dry climate conditions will shift smoke from large wildfires burning in northern and central Arizona and southwest New Mexico. The winds will likely push smoke into central and northern New Mexico today and southward on Saturday.

Meteorologist Brian Guyer says the concentration of smoke will not be near the level created by last year's wildfires. Guyer says blazes last year created poor air quality and visibility below a quarter of a mile. Albuquerque officials at this time have no plans to issue any advisories about smoke impacts.

The New Mexico fire, the Baldy Fire, is burning in the Gila Wilderness.  Fire officials say it is serving a natural purp0se of reducing fuels in the forest and is not being fought aggressively.  

From The Silver City Sun-News:

The current modified suppression strategy involves looking for opportunities to stop or slow the fire progress along ridgelines or natural barriers such as rock outcroppings. With the slopes averaging 75 percent and no immediate threat to structures, fire personnel can focus on safe locations to corral the fire rather than taking undue risks. The cabin at Mogollon Baldy Fire Lookout has been wrapped with fire resistant material as a precautionary move, but the fire has consistently been moving away from the tower location.