Smoke Outlook May 31 - June 1
Incident: Whitewater Baldy Complex Wildfire
Updated 1400 MDT May 31, 2012 Valid through Friday June 1, 2012Variable winds near the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex will continue to result in the most significant impacts to occur in communities near the fire. Smoke transport will primarily be terrain dominated overnight and tomorrow morning. Potential impacts can be expected down drainage of burn-out operations on the northwest section of the fire, in Glenwood, Reserve, Mogollon, and nearby communities southwest of the fire, including Silver City. During the day, smoke will initially be transported towards the southeast and then shift towards the east later in the day. However, most of the smoke should remain above the surface, reducing any significant impacts at ground level.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, Glenwood and Silver City. 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.Stronger transport winds are expected to blow smoke east of the fire on Saturday and through the weekend. The most significant impacts will continue to be more localized in communities near the fire and down drainages from planned burn-out operations and active fire.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 tool to determine if it is 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.Updated information on fire activity in the Southwest can be found in the SWCC Morning Intelligence Briefing.