It has been a tough week, and it is not over. But this is what our wildfire season looks like. Now is not the time to become complacent. We all need each other working together so we can protect our EM environment.
This morning NOAA updated today's forecast from "fire weather watch" to "red flag" status from 12 noon until 7 pm this evening. Additionally, Saturday is now predicted to be "fire weather watch" status. The complete discussion can be viewed here: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=abq&wwa=red%20flag%20warning. The Saturday forecast should be viewed as an early warning that conditions will continue to be very dangerous, and to not let your guard down.
NOAA meteorologist Brent Wachter explained the difference between "fire weather watch" and "red flag" conditions to us. Essentially, they are the same except the NOAA forecaster's level of confidence in their prediction, and the "watch" forecast is done further in advance of the "red flag" prediction so emergency services (and you) can have an earlier notification to pay attention and be prepared. Be ready to see the "watch" warning shift to "red flag" later today or early tomorrow.
When you are using the NOAA sites linked below, use them as preparedness planning tools. The first is a the link to the local NOAA web site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/. The second allows you to track the progress of "red flag" conditions as they progress over the course of a day, an important means of maintaining your wildfire situational awareness: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/?n=forecasts-fireweather-dss .
Work on your preparedness planning. We recommend you review your disaster check list. If you don't have one, contact us and we will send you a copy. The check list is also on our web site, linked below. Even if you do not have all the items on the checklist complete, it is useful to review it regularly. Remember, maintain your vigilance, and as always, report it, don't ignore it - always call 911 first!!
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