ALBUQUERQUE, NM, June 11, 2021—Fire activity is increasing across the Southwestern Region with several large fires burning in Arizona and New Mexico and it may be confusing trying to discern what is happening and where. The seven-day forecast for significant fire potential shows the current warm and breezy trend changing to hot and dry with the potential for lightning, which might mean even more fire activity. Living in the Southwest, we need to be prepared for wildfires and smoke at any time of the year.
One way to be prepared is to be informed about fire activity. Whether you are looking for the Johnson Fire in the Gila Wilderness, the Telegraph Fire on the Tonto National Forest, the Mescal Fire on BLM land or one of the other fires burning in the region, the public can find the information they need (including contact information) at the following websites:
Southwestern Region https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/safety
New Mexico https://nmfireinfo.com/
If you see smoke or suspect a wildfire do not fly your Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Call 911 or local emergency services to report the fire. UAS are a great tool for assisting on wildfires, but if an unauthorized aircraft enters the fire traffic area it puts our firefighters at great risk. Remember if you fly, we can't!
Smoke from wildfires can threaten public health and safety. Sensitive individuals may wish to prepare in advance for likely smoke impacts. Such preparations could include checking with their local health department or health care providers about precautions to take during smoke events. If heavy smoke is present, people should take precautions such as staying inside and avoiding prolonged outside activity.
Smoke Outlooks https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/
New Mexico Department of Health https://nmtracking.org/fire
AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality https://azdeq.gov/
In addition, fire restrictions are implemented to help decrease human-caused fires during periods of high fire potential by restricting activities which are the most common causes of wildfires. https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/safety.
We all have a role to play in fire prevention and homeowners can contribute to this effort by reducing flammable material around homes and communities. Creating a buffer between homes and trees, shrubs, or other wildland areas is essential to improving a home's chance of surviving a wildfire. Not only does this space help slow or stop wildfire spread, it also provides a safe place for firefighters to work.