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Environment agency warns of N.M. dust storms

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters say New Mexico's parched landscape and cold front packing gusty winds could combine to create harmful dust storms.

The National Weather Service says near-record warmth Tuesday will give way to blustery cold wind Wednesday in much of the state. Forecasters warn the winds are increasing the risk of wildfires in north and central New Mexico.

The New Mexico Environment Department says winds sweeping along the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley Wednesday into Thursday could stir up dust as well.

The agency says while dust storms may be common in the state, they can still cause or exacerbate health problems. The department suggests those prone to respiratory problems should avoid going outside or hard exercise.