(Santa Fe, NM) — The Pino Fire is currently burning in an area of the Santa Fe National Forest five miles south of State Highway 4 and six miles east of Jemez Springs. Fire crews will begin multiple hand and aerial ignitions today to manage the wildfire. Based on forecasted weather conditions, smoke from the Pino Fire is expected to be transported to the northeast of the fire for the next few days.
Potential impacts could occur in areas near the fire and further away in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and the Española Valley and surrounding communities during the late afternoon through the early morning. Smoke is also expected to flow down from the fire overnight, with impacts expected in Ponderosa and the Jemez Pueblo, and potentially in Bernalillo. Smoke should clear from all areas in the late morning and during the middle of the day.
The New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Forest Service operate air quality monitors at multiple locations around the state. The monitors gather information about air quality conditions and help to keep the public informed. Links to data from the air monitoring equipment and additional information about the Pino Fire can be found at http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/PinoFireInformation.htm.
Visibility is an easy way to decide if it’s okay to go outside. Use the 5-3-1 Visibility Method to determine if smoke might impact to your health. First, decide if the visibility is closer to 5 miles, 3 miles or 1 mile. How: Try the Visibility Mapping Tool to determine distances from where you are right now. Then decide:
· Is the visibility just under 5 miles? If it is, air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness. These people should minimize outdoor activity.
· Is the visibility about 3 miles? If it is, air quality is unhealthy. Young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid all outdoor activities.
· Is the visibility about 1 mile? If it is, air quality is very unhealthy. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.
· Regardless of the visibility, if you are feeling as though you are having health effects from smoke, take precautions to avoid breathing in smoke and see your doctor or other health professional as needed.
Learn more about protecting your health from smoke at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
Information from NM DOH