In New Mexico, wildfire season typically starts in May and lasts until monsoon, which usually occurs in early July. With increased and persistent heat as well as strong winds, these conditions lead to an increase risk of wildfires every year. Here are a few tips to help protect yourself on smoky days:

• Listen to local media channels and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.

Use the 5-3-1 Visibility Tool, which helps you estimate air quality based on how far you can see outside during a fire:…/air/FireAndSmoke.html

• Stay indoors and keep the air clean by closing windows and doors. Pick a room big enough for everyone in your household to be comfortable. (A bedroom with an attached bathroom is a good choice.)

• Stay cool by running fans, window air conditioners, or central air conditioning. If your air conditioner has a fresh air option, turn it off or close the intake and run it in recirculation mode. Try not use a swamp cooler on smoky days as they bring smoky air inside.

• Avoid smoking, burning candles, using aerosols, frying food, and vacuuming; unless you use a vacuum with markings that say it has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

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