SANTA FE – High winds, heat, and extremely dry conditions are contributing to several wildfires and human caused fires across the state in recent days which is putting smoke into the air. To safeguard residents from potential health hazards posed by the pervasive smoke, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) has released vital guidelines aimed at providing comprehensive protection. 

“Amid the current fire-induced challenges, the health and well-being of our residents remain our top priority,” said Heidi Krapfl, Deputy Director of the DOH Epidemiology & Response Division. “The guidance we are releasing today empowers individuals to make informed choices that mitigate the potential health risks associated with wildfire smoke. By following these guidelines, we can ensure our communities’ resilience against these hazards.” 

The cornerstone of the DOH guidelines encourages monitoring of air quality alerts as issued by These nationwide alerts are also shown on weather apps on smart phones, major news websites, and through broadcast media. 

Assessing visibility outdoors with your eyes is a fundamental indicator of whether it is safe to be outside. To aid residents in this, we recommend utilizing the 5-3-1 Method available at The guidelines outline key actions based on visibility levels: 

  • If visibility is under 5 miles, 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 and they should reduce outdoor activity. 
  • If visibility is under 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. 
  • If visibility is under 1 mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone, and everyone should stay indoors. Unless an evacuation has been issued, stay inside your home, indoor workplace, or in a safe shelter. 

People with breathing difficulties or heart disease should take precautions when smoke is present. This includes limiting time outdoors, closing windows, turning off swamp coolers, and using air conditioners on recirculation mode.  

If poor air quality persists, consider setting up a clean air room in your home. Instructions are available online. Anyone with asthma should follow their asthma action plan and have quick-relief medicine handy. Individuals with heart disease should be mindful of symptoms such as a fast pulse, shortness of breath or unusual weakness and call your health care provider if you have concerns.  

Find comprehensive guidance on distances, visibility and health tips at Smoke Outlooks can also be tracked on

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 pública una guía esencial para hacer frente a los efectos del humo de los incendios en todo el Estado

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