Flames continued to spread rapidly in the trees, but as of press time officials were hopeful that the Diego fire was on its last legs.
By afternoon of July 1, smoke from the fire had retreated back behind the Sangre de Cristo Mountains after fogging areas in Santa Fe at the beginning of the week. The fire blazed over more than 3,400 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest 40 miles northwest of city limits, forcing evacuations in several small communities.
But the National Weather Service, the US Forest Service and the state environment and health departments were all anticipating monsoons to kick in during the middle of the week and eventually put out the fire naturally.
“Today may be the last day with fire activity,” Heidi Krapfl, chief of the epidemiology bureau at the state Department of Health, told SFR on July 1.
Still, the rest of the week is expected to be hazy in areas near the fire. DOH recommends that people with respiratory and lung conditions take extra caution in areas with less than five miles of visibility. That means limiting outdoor activities as much as possible. Residents who are not sure how to tell if smoke is less than five miles away can access a visibility chart online at nmfireinfo.com (Joey Peters)