Scientists warn future fires could change the Sandias

[anvplayer video=”5171580″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — By 2080, the Albuquerque area will look like what El Paso looks like today, according to Matt Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist from the University of Maryland.

Fitzpatrick warns that wildfires are only going to get harder to prevent, and those wildfires could impact the future of the Sandia Mountains.

Climate scientists say the long-term outlook is not good.

“You could be looking at multiple year or decadelong what we call mega-drought, so that of course, all translates into increased probabilities of wildfires,” Fitzpatrick said. “So Albuquerque in 2080, you know, I think if things continue to go the way they are, there’s a high probability the lowest elevation forest will be lost.”

Forest rangers are doing what they can to prepare. Some prescribed burns were started in the lower elevations during the winter.

Fitzpatrick said there’s still time to slow down climate change.

“It’s not too late, we can still hope to avoid the worst of the effects,” he said.