NMDOH encourages people to use 5-3-1 method to check air quality

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) issued a smoke alert Tuesday for parts of the state due to fires in Arizona.

"Smoke doesn’t know boundaries right so whether it’s coming in from Colorado, Arizona or New Mexico, New Mexicans need to be prepared and have an idea of what they need to,” said Deyonne Sandoval, representative for NMDOH.

NMDOH has a 5-3-1 method for residents to check the air quality. Officials say eyes are the best tools.

If a person can see less than five miles in front of them, outdoor activities should be minimized and the air is unhealthy for kids and those with respiratory illnesses or 65 plus.

If a person can see under three miles, outdoor activities should be avoided and the air is unhealthy for kids, those with respiratory illnesses, or those 65 plus.

If a person can see under one mile, the air is unhealthy for everyone. People should remain indoors – unless evacuated.

The NMDOH said the biggest health threat comes from when people breathe in the microscopic smoke particles. Those can apparently penetrate deep into a person’s lungs.

"People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or any other respiratory infection even after symptoms have resolved need to be especially careful," Sandoval said.

They also say avoid using harsh chemicals inside or burning candles to keep the air indoors as clean as possible.

Click here for more information about the 5-3-1 method.