CDPH issues Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

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Courtesy of the CDPHE Air Pollution Twitter account

COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for wildfire smoke.

Affected counties include Routt, Jackson, Grand, and Summit. Locations include, but are not limited to Glen Eden, Clark, Steamboat Springs, Kremmling, Granby, Breckenridge, and Silverthorne.

The advisory is in effect until Sunday, July 11 at 9 a.m.

Public Health Recommendations: If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Outlook: 
Areas of moderate to heavy smoke can be expected in close vicinity of the Morgan Creek wildfire in northern Routt County. Although smoke will generally lift into the free atmosphere through Saturday evening, smoke will begin to drain to lower elevations by late Saturday evening and continue through Sunday morning. This will likely bring periods of heavy smoke to areas below the fire along Morgan and Reed Creeks, eventually draining into the Elk River Valley impacting the communities of Glen Eden and Clark. Smoke will also impact areas to the southeast of the fire, especially interior mountain valleys, including the I-70 corridor in Summit County.

The other large wildfires in Colorado, including the Sylvan wildfire in southern Eagle County and the Muddy Slide wildfire in southern Routt County are expected to produce limited smoke on Saturday and Sunday. Any significant concentrations of smoke will be confined to locations in very close proximity to the wildfires during the overnight and early morning hours. No significant public health impacts are expected at this time.

A general increase in smoke from out-of-state wildfires is expected over the weekend. Although no major public health impacts are expected at this time, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion statewide through the weekend, especially across the western half of the state.

What if there is a wildfire or smoke in your area?
The focus of the Colorado Smoke Outlook is on large fires (e.g., greater than 100 acres in size). Nevertheless, smoke from smaller fires, prescribed fires, and/or smoke from new fires not yet known to
CDPHE air quality meteorologists may cause locally heavy smoke. If there is smoke in your neighborhood, see the public health recommendations below.

Public health recommendations for areas affected by smoke:
If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. IF VISIBILITY IS LESS THAN 5 MILES IN SMOKE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, SMOKE HAS REACHED LEVELS THAT ARE UNHEALTHY.

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