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Albuquerque issues alert for smoke, ozone

Smoke from Arizona wildfires drifts into Albuquerque on Monday. National Weather Service officials said smoky skies are likely for the rest of this week. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

The City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department issued an air quality health alert on Monday due to elevated smoke and ozone levels.

The alert is scheduled to expire at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The advisory warns those with respiratory conditions to limit outdoor activity.

Two Arizona wildfires are contributing to central New Mexico’s smoky skies.

The Mescal and Telegraph fires south of Globe, Arizona, have burned a total of 106,000 acres as of Monday morning.

The Telegraph Fire is 0% contained, and the Mescal Fire is 8% contained.

Jennifer Shoemake, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Albuquerque, said the smoke will likely linger in central and western New Mexico for the rest of the week.

“These fires aren’t going anywhere anytime soon,” Shoemake said.

The New Mexico Health and Environment departments also issued smoke alerts for northwestern and central portions of the state this week.

The state said Albuquerque and Santa Fe metropolitan areas will likely be affected by the smoke.

Other impacted communities could include Gallup, Farmington, Zuni Pueblo, and areas of the Navajo Nation.

NMDOH and NMED advise closing windows at night and turning off swamp coolers to protect residents with respiratory conditions.

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