Dirt and Dust From Monday’s Wind Causing Hazy Air Quality Around Los Alamos Today

Emergency Management Coordinator Phil Taylor


Los Alamos County Emergency Management Coordinator Phil Taylor reports that the “smoky” conditions around Los Alamos and elswhere in the state are caused by dirt and dust from yesterday’s wind event.

Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider also explained that the wind is carrying smoke from a couple of prescribed burns underway south of Los Alamos.

Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider

He said it may include smoke from a small fire that broke out at 11:30 a.m. today in Valencia County.




Air Quality Forecast Guidance for Los Alamos

The ozone maps available as air quality forecasting guidance products represent concentrations of forecasted ground-level ozone. The guidance is used by state and local air quality forecasters to assist them in issuing Air Quality Index (AQI) forecasts. The AQI links air quality – in this case, for ozone concentrations – to health effects and cautionary language or interpretive guidance for individuals.

When ozone is the only pollutant affecting air quality, the risks to people’s health can be described from both short-term exposure to ozone (based on one-hour averaged concentrations) and longer-term exposure to ozone (based on eight-hour average concentrations).

EPA developed the following scale that relates shorter and longer-term exposure to the ambient ozone concentrations, in parts per billion (ppb), to health risk.


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