FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 27, 2018
Media Contact: Paul Rhien
Phone: (505) 470-2290
Potential Air Quality Impacts to Areas of Northern NM
Smoke from Sardinas Canyon Fire May Present
Health Hazards for Nearby Residents
SANTA FE, NM –With the Sardinas Canyon Fire burning in the Carson National Forest approximately 18 miles southeast of Taos, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) are monitoring air quality in areas of Northern New Mexico that may be affected by smoke from the wildfire – including Mora, Chacon, Holman, Angel Fire, Black Lake, Taos, Peñasco, Ranchos De Taos, Talpa, Pot Creek, Tres Ritos, Valle Escondido, and Taos Canyon communities.
Air quality monitors are being set up Thursday in Mora and at Sipapu to measure air quality conditions and assess the most immediate air quality impacts from the wildfire. Monitoring data will be accessible here once it is made available.
NMDOH encourages New Mexico residents to take precautions to protect their health from the hazards of wildfire smoke. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and intensify chronic heart and lung problems. People with heart and/or lung disease, adults over the age of 65, young children, and pregnant women should minimize outdoor activities during times when the visibility is 5 miles or less.
Your eyes are useful tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. Remember: if visibility is over five miles, the air quality is generally good. However, no matter how far you can see, if you are having health effects from smoke exposure then take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality. You should also see your doctor or healthcare professional as needed.
To learn how to use 5-3-1 Visibility Method to assess the air quality, and for more information on how to protect your health from smoke, visit theNew Mexico Environmental Public Health Trackingwebsite. Find additional wildfire and smoke resources on the NMED Air Quality Bureau website.