Evening Smoke Impacts Expected
The Diego Fire, located seven miles southwest of Coyote, New Mexico has grown to 1,000 acres. Smoke from the fire is expected to impact Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and Rio Arriba counties starting late Monday afternoon through at least 9 p.m. Additionally, communities downwind from the fire may also experience impacts. If predicted winds arrive in the middle of the night, this may clear out the smoke by tomorrow morning.
The New Mexico Department of Health advises residents in these Counties to pay attention to visibility this afternoon and early evening.
“Visibility is an easy way to decide if smoke from wildfires could impact your health,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Use the 5-3-1 Visibility Method. First, decide if the visibility is closer to five miles, three miles or one mile. Try the Visibility Mapping Tool to determine distances from where you are right now.”
5-3-1 Visibility Method
Our NM EPHT Environmental Exposures: Fire, Smoke and Your Health page explains how the 5-3-1 Visibility Method allows you to determine your smoke exposure depending on what you see:
Can you see just under 5 miles? If so, the air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness; they should minimize outdoor activity. These people should reschedule outdoor recreational activities for a day with better air quality. It is okay for adults in good health to be out and about but they should periodically check visibility especially when fires are nearby.
If you can see less than 3 miles, young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should stay indoors. All outdoor activities should be avoided, including running errands. Everyone else should try to stay indoors as much as possible. All outdoor recreational activities should be rescheduled for a day with better air quality.
If you can see less than 1 mile, everyone should avoid outdoor activity, including running errands. Unless an evacuation has been issued, you should stay inside your home or in a safe shelter.
Regardless of the visibility, if you are feeling as though you are having health problems from smoke, take precautions to avoid breathing in smoke and see your doctor or other health professional as needed.
When the visibility merits staying indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it is extremely hot, you can run an air conditioner but not a swamp cooler. Get more stay cool tips at our Heat Stress page.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.