High winds, temps and dryness increasing fire danger in NM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Fire season is getting an early start in New Mexico.

A fire has been burning in the Bosque on the Isleta Pueblo since the weekend and on Monday, a grass fire spread near Belen.

Fire danger is expected to be extra high Wednesday, so firefighters are going to be extra careful and they’re urging others to do the same.

The combination of warmer temperatures, dryness, and high winds cause high fire danger.

Winds are supposed to be gusts of 50 mph in some areas of New Mexico and will pick up throughout the day.

Because of high winds, the Bernalillo County Fire Marshall has issued a ban on open burning. The ban means no burning weeds, no burning brush in the yard, no burning farmland and no campfires.

“People don’t realize that fire spreads that quickly. If we do catch people burning , and it causes a fire like that, they could be cited or arrested and charged, and be responsible for the cost of that fire,” said Chris Gober, Fire Marshall for Bernalillo County.

The fire department and city officials look at different factors to decide whether an open fire ban is necessary. The City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department is allowing open burning until further notice.

“They’re looking at winds and drought conditions, we’re looking at the meteorology and how the smoke is going to disperse,” said Jeff Stonesifer, staff meteorologist for the City of Albuquerque.

Authorities usually make decisions on open fire ban burns by 7 a.m.

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