Out-of-state wildfires produce smoky skies


According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, out-of-state wildfires are producing hazy, smoky skies for the area today and tomorrow.

The Colorado Smoke Outlook report states that enormous amounts of smoke are being emitted from the 10,950 acre Brian Head wildfire in southwestern Utah, and at times this smoke is being transported into Colorado.

Haze and smoke will be possible mainly in western and southern parts of the state on Thursday and Friday, particularly during the overnight and morning hours.

Public health impacts are expected to be minimal at this time, however unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Thursday and Friday. Smoke and haze should gradually dissipate during the late morning and into the early afternoon hours on both Thursday and Friday as atmospheric mixing increases.

Light to moderate smoke is also possible near prescribed fires and small wildfires around 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.

Fine particulates may reach the Unhealthy category where smoke is heavy. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. 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.