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Air Quality in the Jemez is Sketchy

on June 1, 2013 - 10:43pm

Thompson Ridge Fire at 3:29 p.m. today on N.M. 4 just above La Cueva at the mailboxes alongside Winter Road. Photo by Khal Spencer

Thompson Ridge Fire at 3:29 p.m. today from the heights along N.M. 126. Photo by Khal Spencer 

By KHAL SPENCER

I rode the BMW across the Jemez this afternoon to a point above La Cueva on N.M. 126. The air is a little smoky as you climb up to the Jemez on N.M. 4.

The worst of it right now is in the Caldera itself, which is literally a bowl of smoke and gets bad as you descend into the caldera. You can barely see Redondo. The fire is on the back side, away from you, and pumping smoke up and over the top.

Once you clear the Caldera, the air got much better and was almost normal by the time I got to Las Conchas. Mind you, I have no idea what it will look like in the morning -- the winds or lack thereof can change where the smoke is headed. If you are asthma prone, as I am, proceed with caution. I'll have to remember my inhaler.

Editor's note: Update - The Thompson Ridge Fire has burned approximately 1,200 acres. It is burning in the Valles Caldera along the far western border - Mormon Canyon and Redondo. Forecast is 70 percent chance of showers tomorrow in the Jemez.

Thompson Ridge Fire at 3:30 p.m. today from the heights along N.M. 126. Photo by Khal Spencer


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