ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on drought and fire danger in New Mexico (all times local):
Commissioners in New Mexico’s most populous county have instituted a ban on open fires, campfires and smoking in some areas over the next six months.
The Bernalillo County Commission voted in favor of the burn ban resolution at a meeting Tuesday. The ban will affect the unincorporated areas of the county.
Colfax, Lincoln and Curry counties have already imposed burn bans this season, and officials on the Sandia and Mountainair ranger districts on Wednesday announced that increasing fire danger is prompting them to enact fire restrictions beginning April 18.
Officials in Bernalillo County and elsewhere are citing the hot and dry weather patterns that are continuing after a long, dry winter.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning that parts of New Mexico are in for more windy conditions later this week and that means higher fire danger.
They say a deep low pressure system in the Great Basin will result in strong southwest winds across northern and central New Mexico. Gusts could range from 50 to 70 mph Thursday afternoon.
Red flag warnings have been issued for the areas through Thursday evening.
The warnings came as firefighters in Albuquerque doused flames that broke out in the dry wooded area along the Rio Grande on the city’s south side Tuesday afternoon.
Officials say conditions are dry as the latest map shows more than three-quarters of the state are dealing with severe to extreme drought.