Because heavy smoke from the Sawmill Fire in the western portion of Cochise County may pose health hazards, county officials are temporarily installing four monitoring devices near the scene to measure air quality.
With dry and windy conditions prevailing, Cochise leaders also plan to have County Health and Social Services workers available to help secure sites for the portable air quality monitors. Staff will be on the ground to assist both state Incident Command personnel and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
County officials advise residents who witness heavy smoke to stay indoors with windows shut until the fire-related particulate level in the atmosphere diminishes, particularly children, elderly individuals and those with health issues.
“Remember, if it looks smoky outside, it is generally not a good time for anyone to engage in outdoor activities,” the country advised on its website.
The Sawmill Fire occupies nearly 47,000 acres 10 miles southeast of Green Valley based on GPS data gathered by helicopter, according to InciWeb, a national online incident information system.
InciWeb reported that the wildfire, which started on April 23, was 96 percent contained as of May 1.