Wildfire and Prescribed Fire Smoke Resources
Wildfires and prescribed fires in the region can result in plumes of smoke in New Mexico. Use the links on this page to find information on air quality data and how to protect you and your family’s health when it is smoky.
The New Mexico Department of Health recommends using the 5-3-1 Mile Visibility Method to decide when it’s safe to be outside. The New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking website provides information on smoke safety and how to avoid breathing in smoke at https://nmtracking.org/fire.
Monitoring Data and Air Quality Information
The New Mexico Environment Department, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory operate air quality monitoring sites that monitor particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). These are very small particulates that can go deeply into the lungs. Real-time data for PM2.5 can be found at these sites:
- The New Mexico Department of Health has information on protecting your health during wildfire smoke events. This includes information on recommended actions to take during smoke events, how to protect your lungs during wildfire smoke, and how smoke can affect you.
- Asbestos and Fires – Asbestos is one of the most heat-resistant materials known to man but can be highly toxic when asbestos containing materials are burnt or damaged. Read this fact sheet to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from potentially asbestos containing materials in burned structures.
- The National Weather Service in Albuquerque and El Paso provides information on smoke forecasts and advisories and alerts for air quality.
- The National Weather Service also provides an air quality and smoke forecast here.
- During times when active wildfires are causing smoke impacts in New Mexico, the Southwest Coordination Center posts smoke outlooks at http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/. Go to Outlook under Predictive Services on the left side of the page, then click on either Outlook for the smoke outlook or Briefing for additional technical information.
- InciWeb gives information on wildfires throughout the United States.
- NM Fire Info has information about wildfires and forest closures.
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