Disappearing mountains — Wildfire smoke? Humidity? Both?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque is in a haze Friday, and the city of Albuquerque has issued a air-quality health alert due to wildfire smoke. The National Weather Service, however, says the haze seen over the city is due to humidity.

“This is wildfire smoke,” Albuquerque Air Quality Department’s Jeff Stonesifer told ABQjournal.com this morning. “Not sure yet which fire,” he said in an e-mail.  Stonesifer said the city will do more analysis, but pollution monitors are showing elevated levels of fine particulate matter.

The National Interagency Fire Center website reports there are two large fires in Arizona. The Soldier Basin Fire, in the Coronado National Forest, is currently 7,500 acres at 8 percent contained. The fire is five miles east of Nogales.

The other large fire, called the Island Lake Fire, is 22 miles north of Yuma and has burned 3,200 areas. This fire is 90 percent contained.

Fires in northern Mexico may also be contributing to the haze.

Broadcast weather forecasters and the National Weather forecast Friday morning blamed the haze on east winds drawing moisture back into the metro area.

According to the National Weather Service, the haze is something we haven’t seen much around the area lately –- humidity, says Dan Ware of New Mexico State Forestry department in an e-mail. “There are no fires in the area putting out high levels of smoke,”  the e-mail says. And the haze should burn off before long.

The Journal’s weather forecast calls for  partly cloudy and breezy with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon and a high of 90F.

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