Meteorological phenomenon traps smoke from Pino Fire over northern New Mexico

Updated: 09/03/2014 5:21 PM | Created: 09/03/2014 4:22 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Although it's ominous looking, crews say the Pino Fire is doing exactly what it needs to be doing. The lightning-sparked fire started three weeks ago in the Santa Fe National Forest, and crews are managing the fire to get rid of hazardous debris.

As of this this morning, the Pino Fire has burned more than 1,600 acres.

The big concern, though, has been the smoke plume which has risen several thousand feet in the air.    

Wednesday morning, people in Albuquerque woke up to the nasty sight of a thick layer of haze blanketing the city.

What caused the haze to stick around for much of the morning? It's due to a meteorological phenomenon known as an "inversion".

It occurs when a pocket of air above the ground is warmer than the air at the surface, trapping all the pollutants, including the smoke from the Pino Fire.

Despite all the smoke, the hope is that burning now will prevent larger wildfires in the future.

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