Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The haze covering Mount Graham reportedly is from wind-blown dust. (This picture was enhanced to be able to view the mountain.)
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Looking out at the Pinalenó and Galiuro mountain ranges one would think that a large wildfire must be nearby due to the hazy conditions.
Not so, said the U.S. Forest Service, who has advised the conditions those in the Gila Valley are seeing are caused simply by blowing dust.
While the Gila Valley doesn’t get the haboobs that Phoenix gets during the monsoon season, plenty of dust can be blown up creating particulates in the air that resemble smog or smoke.
According to the Weather Underground, the air quality index for the Safford area today is moderate and those who suffer respiratory issues should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. However, the site lists ozone as the dominant pollutant, not dust.