UPDATE: Crews continue to tackle Sandias blaze

Posted at: 10/19/2012 12:12 PM
Updated at: 10/19/2012 10:17 PM
By: KOB.com Staff

Crews continue to tackle a small fire in the Sandias as smoke from a separate controlled burn in the Jemez continues to permeate the metro Albuquerque area.

Fire crews are battling a small and very smoky fire 1.5 miles north of th eLa Luz trail.

The Chimney Fire is approximately a half-acre in size, located in steep terrain. The fire started sometime Friday morning.

A United States Forest Service spokesperson told KOB Eyewitness News 4 the fire has burned approximately five acres.

Crews have responded to the fire as have additional crews from the Zuni and Southern Pueblo Agency.

Helicoptors were being used to drop buckets of water on the Sandia foothills fire Friday afternoon.

The La Luz and Piedra Lisa Trails have been closed.

A controlled burn in the Jemez Wilderness is also generating lots of smoke over Albuquerque.

Because of the burn, the city's Environmental Health Department issued an air quality alert that stayed in effect until 2:00 p.m. Friday.

Officials say the smoke could linger throughout the area into the early afternoon.

The Forest Service tells us it is trying to burn out more than 7,000 acres of brush in the Jemez mountains. The burn is expected to end Saturday.

To mitigate the effects of the smoke, the Environmental Health Departmen recommends that all individuals take precautions when outdoors in areas when smoke is visible or can be smelled.

During unhealthy periods, the following actions are recommended, especially for individuals sensitive to particulate pollution:

Keep windows and doors closed. If needed for comfort, use air conditioners or heating systems on recycle/recirculation mode.

Avoid using swamp coolers that can circulate outdoor air inside.

Limit time spent outdoors.

If symptoms of heart or lung disease occur, (including severe coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness) contact your health care provider.Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their health management plan from their health care provider.

Asthmatic individuals should follow a prescribed asthma management plan. If conditions are creating a health emergency, call 911 or seek medical attention at the nearest medical facility.

Avoid physical activity outdoors. Motorists should use recirculated air while using air-conditioning during smoke events.