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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
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New Mexico Health, Environment Departments Monitoring Air Quality

August 26, 2015 - Air Quality - Awareness

Wildfires in Pacific Northwest Bring Smoke to New Mexico

The NMDOH and the New Mexico Environment Department are monitoring air quality in New Mexico due to smoke from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. These conditions may change on a daily basis.

In areas without air quality monitoring equipment, visibility can serve as a good substitute in determining air quality.  The departments remind residents to use the 5-3-1 approach to gauge air quality:

Using your eyes to gauge the visibility is the best tool. Here are guidelines:

  • When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, people in sensitive groups (those with asthma, young children, those over age 65, those with heart or lung conditions) should start to minimize outdoor activity until air quality improves. This is because the air quality category is “Unhealthy for sensitive groups.”
  • When visibility starts to go below 3 miles, people in sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activities until air quality improves. This is because the air quality category is “Unhealthy.”
  • For everyone else:  minimize outdoor activities when visibility starts to go below 3 miles.
  • When visibility is below about one mile, everyone should be staying indoors.

You can find information about air quality and wildfire smoke here:

New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau

Environmental Public Health Tracking - Fire and Smoke


Media Contact

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.


Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Departamento de Salud y el Departamento del Medio Ambiente de Nuevo México están Monitoreando la Calidad del Aire