State Issues Smoke Advisory for Northeast New Mexico – April 18, 2022

Contact:  Jodi McGinnis Porter, jodi.mcginnis-porter@state.nm.us 

                 Matthew Maez, matthew.maez@state.nm.us 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 18, 2022

State issues smoke advisory for northeast New Mexico residents

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico Environment Department is issuing a Smoke Advisory for potentially impacted northeast New Mexico communities this Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The advisory includes residents of Ocate, Rayado, Philmont Headquarters and Cimarron and surrounding communities in Mora County and Colfax County because of the anticipated smoke from the ongoing Cooks Peak Fire. 

The Cooks Peak Fire started Sunday afternoon on private land north of Ocate in Mora County. The fire is approximately 2,200 acres with 0% containment. Smoke from the Cooks Peak Fire, located just north of Ocate, about 15-20 miles northwest of Wagon Mound, is expected to travel north later today into tonight by strengthening southerly winds. Smoke will spread across much of Mora County through Tuesday. 

Widespread critical fire weather conditions will return to the area beginning late morning Tuesday and continuing into the evening with strong winds and very low humidity. The weather pattern will quickly transport smoke toward the northeast during the day on Tuesday with additional smoke impacts possible farther northeast along the I-25 corridor. 

When determining safety from smoke from burning wildfires, your eyes will be your best tools to determine if it is safe to be outside. Use the 5-3-1 Method available at https://nmtracking.org/environment/air/FireAndSmoke.html

  • If visibility is under 5 miles, the air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness and they should reduce outdoor activity.
  • If visibility is under 3 miles, young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should stay inside.
  • If visibility is under 1 mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone, and everyone should stay inside. 

Unless an evacuation has been issued, stay inside your home, indoor workplace, or in a safe shelter. 

Visit https://nmtracking.org/fire for additional guidance on distances and visibility and to get practical health tips for smoky days. 

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