FARMINGTON — Smoke and heat blanketed Farmington on Friday.
The same is forecast for the rest of the weekend before a slight cool off, according to the National Weather Service.
San Juan County awoke Friday morning to a thick cover of white smoke. It came from Colorado wildfires that are burning to the northeast.
The San Juan County Communications Authority issued an advisory telling residents to stop calling 911 to report smoke. The dispatch center was overwhelmed with 911 calls reporting smoke in the air Friday morning, Beth Utley, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said in a statement.
The West Fork Fire Complex is 15 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs and has burned more than 90,000 acres, according to the National Weather Service.
The fire has been burning since June 5. Late Thursday, a decrease in westerly winds, which had been pushing smoke east, caused heavy smoke from the wildfire to float into northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado, said Clay Anderson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
Every night, cool air drains from the mountains and stabilizes over San Juan County overnight, he said.
"In most cases, it brings cool mountain air. Unfortunately, last night it brought smoke," Anderson said.
As the day warmed Friday, the air destabilized and the smoke dissipated. Four Corners residents can expect a similar weather pattern on Saturday and Sunday. But the amount of smoke in the air was likely to decrease by the day, Anderson said.
People with pre-existing respiratory conditions are advised to limit physical activity and remain indoors if there is a significant amount of smoke in the air, said Dr. Eric Ketcham, the San Juan Regional Medical Center emergency room medical director, in a prepared statement.
Liane Jollon, the executive director of the San Juan Basin Health Department, issued a "health advisory" for Durango, Pagosa Springs, Silverton and surrounding counties and areas because of the degraded air quality from the wildfires.
Smoke can irritate eyes, airways and sinuses, causing coughing, a scratchy throat and headaches, she said.
In addition to the smoke, temperatures in Farmington reached record highs on Friday, Anderson said. At Four Corners Regional Airport, the temperature topped out at 102 degrees at 3:30 p.m., according to the weather service.
The previous record high for Farmington for June 28 was 98 degrees, he said.
The hottest temperate ever recorded in Farmington was 105 degrees. That temperature was recorded for three straight days in 2004 on July 18, 19 and 20.
Forecasters predicted a high of 101 degrees on Saturday and 98 degrees on Sunday in Farmington. The temperature was then expected to cool to a high of 91 degrees by Monday.Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.