Southwest Coordination Center 3 Day Smoke Projections
Incident: Whitewater Baldy Complex Wildfire
Smoke from the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex will primarily be transported east of the fire on Wednesday. Potential impacts can be expected in the Rio Grande Valley, south of Socorro towards Truth or Consequences and east towards Alamogordo and Roswell. Smoke may settle in the valleys and flow down drainages at night and into the early morning. Smoke could be present in Las Cruces overnight and into Thursday morning.
Potentially unhealthy conditions could occur in communities near the Whitewater-Baldy Complex. Smoke impacts are likely to occur downwind and down drainage of fire activity overnight and in the early morning, including into the community of Mogollon. During these conditions, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.
Transport winds are expected to blow smoke southwest and south of the fire on Thursday.
The Whitewater-Baldy fire will continue to put up visible smoke for several weeks and impacts are possible downwind of this fire. Impacts will depend on weather conditions and fire behavior. Smoke impacts are likely to continue and be more significant near the fire.
Some areas may experience periods of air quality which are Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (those with asthma, lung or heart disease, children, older adults, and recent science indicates pregnant women). Low lying areas close to ongoing fire activity may experience periods with visibility of 1.5 - 2.5 miles, which is indicative of air that is unhealthy for all groups. If heavy smoke is present, then outdoor activities should be minimized where possible and caution observed when driving in reduced visibility. Take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to participate in outdoor activities, recognizing that conditions can change quickly and these projections are based on anticipated weather conditions and fire activity.
Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it's safe to be outside. Remember: if visibility is 10 miles and up, the air quality is Good; six to nine miles, air quality is Moderate; three to five miles, air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups; one and a half to two and a half miles, air quality is Unhealthy; one to one and a quarter miles, air quality is Very Unhealthy; and one mile or less, air quality is Hazardous.