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PHOENIX -- Officials say several wildfires burning in New Mexico have helped ease the heat in neighboring Arizona- though not by much.

National Weather Service meteorologist Charlotte Dewey says a light layer of haze and smoke hanging over Phoenix has prevented the sun from heating the area up as much as expected.

The mercury was forecast to hit 118 degrees in Phoenix on Friday as an intense heat wave settles over the West.

Dewey says the temperature topped out by late afternoon at 116, and likely won't climb higher, in part due to the smoke from New Mexico.

Albuquerque also was benefiting from the smoke, reaching a late afternoon high of 95 degrees after a forecast of 100.

The scorching weather was expected to last throughout the weekend across the West.

Associated Press,

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