Natural disasters: Wildfires and floods can affect rescue workers and residents in the area.

The Las Conchas wildfire has turned into the most destructive raging fire in the state’s history, and now residents may have yet another problem on their hands – the seasonal rains that are moving toward New Mexico.

In a recent article from Reuters, officials could claim that progress was being made in saving the Indian pueblo lands on the north end of New Mexico’s largest wildfire, which triggered the temporary evacuation of the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory.

However, the charred land may be unable to cope with the monsoon rainfalls that are coming, officials said.

“We’ve gone straight from fire danger to flood danger, so it’s one thing after another,” the article quoted a frustrated Jason Lott, superintendent of the Bandelier National Monument, a revered ancestral home of New Mexico’s pueblo Indian natives.

The risk to flooding has been aggravated by the raging wildfire which has burned off trees, ground-hugging grasses and vegetation, raising concerns that any run-off will barrel down canyons unchecked, causing creeks to burst their banks.

Crews have worked hard this week to clear stream beds, removing logs and other debris creating a clearer path so waters cannot back up and flood historic sites and buildings.

Many buildings will be sandbagged and hopefully sealed from the waters, Lott said.

The wildfire was ignited on June 26 when strong winds tipped an aspen tree onto nearby power lines in the Santa Fe National Forest about 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos, the article says. It has scorched 14,400 acres of land.

Natural disasters and indoor air quality

Wildfires and floods not only affect buildings and land, they can also cause adverse health effects for residents once they return to their homes.

Outdoor air pollution combined with indoor air pollutants can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma.

However, it’s not just asthmatics who need to beware of smoke, researchers say, but also patients with heart failure, (who) should be particularly aware.

Activated charcoal

Activated carbon is the most adsorbent material to remove chemicals, gases and odors.

After floods, the extreme moisture often causes active mold growth and associated health problems.

Electrocorp offers air filtration systems with high efficiency particle filters and deep-bed activated carbon filters as well as UV germicidal filtration to help remove harmful chemicals, particles and odors associated with tobacco and wildfire smoke as well as mold.

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