Wildfires to let up soon

Posted at: 06/14/2013 5:31 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There’s some good news on New Mexico’s wildfire season, but as usual there’s some bad news too.

The good news is the end of wildfire season is not far off; bad news, we’re just now heading into the peak of the season.

Long range forecasters for the federal government said we’re still looking at two or three weeks of peak fire danger, but the end should come early next month.

“Somewhere in that first week of July things start really ramping down,” said Rich Naden, fire meteorologist at the Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque. “We peak in Central and Western New Mexico sometime in late June, so the difference between peak and end is typically not much.”

Forecasters said rain parts of the state have been getting for the last couple of days is not the summertime storm season arriving early, but what’s important is the humidity.

“We need the humidity to stay elevated for 20 percent or higher minimums for at least 3 or 4 or 5 days in a row,” Naden said. “Once we really get that it kind of cements things down in regards to the reduction of the likelihood of large fires.”

So far this year’s fire season is a different story than last year.  On June 14 2012 New Mexico had racked up 357 fires burning about 357,000 acres. This year we’ve had 461 fires, burning 57,000 acres.