NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After devastating wildfires scarred the state across northern and central New Mexico, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque unveiled a detailed look into this year’s record-breaking wildfire season.
“We wanted to document and show that it’s not anybody’s imagination, it was a bad fire season, and that weather was a big part of it, and we wanted to tell that side of the story,” said Albuquerque National Weather Service Meteorologist, Scott Overpeck.
The overview shows the state’s record dryness, low humidity levels, and impacts brought on by strong winds leading to two of the state’s largest fires. The Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon and the Black fires both of which set new records for acreage burned within a year. Data collected by the National Interagency Fire Center shows 896,936 acres burned within New Mexico. The largest wildfire, the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon fire, contributed 341,735 of those acres.
As several firefighters worked under extreme conditions for months on end battling the flames, NSW’s team of Incident Meteorologists were able to help as well. “They are trained specifically to be integrated with the wildfire response team that is trying to put out the fires and provide them with highly detailed forecasts. It is a very stressful situation and they are right up there with it, added Overpeck.
Overpeck says he believes the overview into this year’s wildfire season will help bring awareness of wildfire impacts as well as help provide more preparedness for the future.