The Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire

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Image from Gila Forest on Flickr.

The Gila Fire is now the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire, named after the Whitewater and Baldy fires merged. It’s currently 15% contained and has burned 217,988 acres. It’s the largest fire in the US and the largest in New Mexico state history.

It was almost a year ago that I was posting about the Wallow fire in Arizona, which burned more than twice what the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire has burned. The Wallow fire produced a lot of smoked that end up in Albuquerque. So far Albuquerque has been spared most of the smoke from the Whitewater Baldy Complex fire.

Arizona's Wallow Fire In Albuquerque

Sandias Covered In Smoke From The Wallo Fire In Az

The view of the Sandia Mountains from my front window the last few days has been obscured by smoke from the Wallow fire near the New Mexico border in Alpine, Arizona. This fire is affecting the Albuquerque area by creating a cloud of smoke which besides the smell has caused some ash to fall from the sky.

Normally I have a clear view of the Sandias except when we have a storm.

This one is over

It’s bad enough that the last two nights I have had to turn off the cooler because it was filling the house with the smell of forest fire.

This is going to be a bad year for fires unless we get some rain, which the Albuquerque area hasn’t received a significant rain storm since early this year.

The Arizona Republic as a good FAQ on the Wallow Fire and An image from the NOAA shows the smoke plume (I don’t know if the NOAA has a direct source to this image).

Wallo Fire Smoke NOAA

Update 06/07/2011: The trend for the last few days is the smoke goes away during the day and settles back in during the evening. It feels like a nuclear winter. Here are a few pictures I took from the office building last night, note the red dot which is the sun.

Wallow fire smoke as seen in Rio Rancho, NM

Wallow Fire smoke as seen in Rio Rancho, NM

While the smoke here in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque is bad, it’s not nearly as bad as for those who actually live where the fire is. The local paper The White Mountain Independent has information about all of the evacuations in the area.

Latest map from the NOAA.