Red flag warnings issued for New Mexico late in fire season

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – August isn’t usually known for red flag warnings in New Mexico, but that’s not the case this weekend. This warning includes the burn scar area of the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire. 

So, this year, some people are being extra careful when they see fire danger signs. 

“My first reaction to seeing that fire danger, like the high alert or whatnot is just to be cognizant of what’s going on. Just if there’s overgrown brush, or trash, or whatnot is, I think, it just raises awareness, especially with the heat,” said Mike Porter, a bosque trail walker.

The dry monsoon season plus the excessive heat also means much of southern New Mexico is under a heat advisory this weekend. But that didn’t stop some people from enjoying the outdoors. 

Liek Cruz and his friends were walking through the bosque. 

“I think it’s like really hot but it’s like a really nice weather today, honestly,” said Cruz Hovey. 

The latest drought monitor shows most of New Mexico is abnormally dry or in moderate drought, with the some parts in extreme drought.  

Hovey says common sense can go a long way in preventing wildfires. 

“Just keep fireworks away from wood and stuff and leaves. Just be careful. Bring some water and stay hydrated to also it’s gonna be really hot,” said Hovey. 

While we’ve had a few thunderstorms here and there, it seems to have hurt more than helped this year. 

For example, the Turkey Fire that’s burning in the Gila National Forest, northeast of Silver City. At last check, the fire was mapped at 1,300 acres. It’s one of several fires in the Gila started by lightning. 

Then, there is the American Mesa Fire in Carson National Forest. This is west of the Navajo Lake State Park. The fire was also caused by lightning. At last check, 400 acres have been burned, with 0% containment. 

But the dry heat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Land of Enchantment, safely.  

“For me, it’s beautiful. I love the weather so far. I know it’s a little hot, but I mean, the scenery is enjoyable,” said Porter. 

Because of the hot, dry conditions most New Mexico’s national forests are at Stage 1 fire restrictions.

In Albuquerque, bosque campfires and fireworks are always forbidden.