Meteorologists explain the upcoming potentially ‘historic’ fire danger
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — National Weather Service meteorologists are forecasting potentially “historic” fire danger over the next five-plus days in New Mexico.
“We have very high confidence that this dire and very dangerous windy and very dry period is going to set up through next week,” National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Shoemake said.
They’re forecasting an extremely rare event set to begin Saturday.
“We cannot urge you enough to just be cautious this weekend and into next week, just take this event very seriously,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re looking at an unprecedented stretch of long-duration critical fire weather this weekend through most of next week. Just relentless winds.”
This spring, New Mexico has experienced strong and even severe wind, but the relentless nature of this upcoming event that sets it apart – day after day of dangerous conditions, Shoemake said.
He pointed out that we’re not just talking about the already catastrophic ongoing wildfires. New fires could start – and they could pop up in urban areas as well.
“It can be as simple as a car fire on the side of the road that catches grass on fire, and then that spreads. You’re not immune to it in the urban areas unfortunately,” Shoemake said.
Fire warnings are an important messaging tool the National Weather Service has. If there’s an urgent need for you to leave your home, local officials may activate the emergency alert system.
You’d get a notification on any smartphone, and it doesn’t require a separate app.
If you receive it, then it’s time to pack up and get out.
“It is time to evacuate. There has been a wildfire in your location, and it is time to evacuate and seek safety,” Shoemake said.
The warnings are localized and are only sent to those who local officials believe need to leave immediately.