Last year, New Mexico saw one of the worst wildfires in the country. The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire became the largest wildfire in the state’s history, burning 341,471 acres. With improved snowfall throughout this winter in the state, people are wondering what wildfire risk will be present for the rest of 2023.
KQRE explained how the above-average snowpack will impact the wildfire season. Andrew Mangham, who is the Senior Service Hydrologist for the National Weather Service, described the impact of the snowpack on wildfire season:
“The conditions are much more favorable to having a very calm fire weather season for us going into it. That means the fuels are wet, the ground is wet, and that helps mitigate some of the danger that we could see developing later on in April.”
In terms of ski resort operations, some mountains like Red River and Angel Fire have shut down due to a lack of guests. Other mountains like Sipapu, Ski Santa Fe, and Taos remain open, with snowfall likely to keep them open through April and maybe even May.
This doesn’t mean that the whole state is out of the woods yet. There are still forest fire risks for the plains and eastern slopes of New Mexico’s mountains in the coming months.
The video from KQRE is below.