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Special Air Quality Statement
Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke: large portions of western Colorado.
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Front Range
Ozone Action Day Alert (until 4 p.m. 08/16/2018)

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The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council have issued an OZONE ACTION DAY ALERT at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 for the Front Range Urban Corridor from El Paso County north to Larimer and Weld counties, including the Denver-Boulder area, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley.

This Ozone Action Day Alert will remain in effect until at least 4 p.m. Thursday, August 16, 2018.

For statewide conditions, forecasts and advisories, visit:
https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx

The highest Ozone related AQI at 1 o'clock AM Mountain Standard Time on August 16, 2018, is 54 which indicates Moderate ozone air quality. It was recorded by the RFN ambient ozone monitor. Unusually sensitive individuals may experience respiratory symptoms. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

The highest Particulate Matter (PM2.5) related AQI at 1 o'clock AM Mountain Standard Time on August 16, 2018, is 64 which indicates Moderate Particulate Matter (PM2.5) air quality. It was recorded by the LNGM ambient monitor. Respiratory symptoms possible in unusually sensitive individuals, possible aggravation of heart or lung disease in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.


Front Range Air Quality Forecast & Colorado Smoke Outlook
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FRONT RANGE AIR QUALITY FORECAST:
Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 2:45 PM MDT

Ozone concentrations are expected to be in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range on Wednesday and Thursday. Concentrations of ozone in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category are most likely for locations in the southern and western portions of the Denver Metro area and northward along the foothills to the western portions of Fort Collins. In these areas active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion between the hours of noon to 8 PM. Elsewhere throughout the Front Range, Moderate concentrations of ozone are expected, and unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion between noon and 10 PM on Wednesday and Thursday.

Fine Particulate Matter concentrations are expected to be in the Good to Moderate range on Wednesday and Thursday. Moderate concentration of fine particulates are possible throughout the Colorado Front range region, including Colorado Springs, the Denver Metro area, Fort Collins, and Greeley. Throughout the Front Range unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Wednesday and Thursday.

Carbon Monoxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Wednesday and Thursday.

Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Wednesday and Thursday.

Visibility on Thursday is expected to be Poor.

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK
Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 2:45 PM MDT

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

Issued for large portions of western Colorado
Issued at 8:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: large portions of western Colorado, including Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Mesa, Delta, Pitkin, Gunnison, Lake, Chaffee, Park, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores, San Juan, Montezuma, and La Plata Counties. Locations and points of interest include, but are not limited to Craig, Steamboat Springs, Walden, Hot Sulphur Springs, Meeker, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Breckenridge, Grand Junction, Delta, Aspen, Gunnison, Leadville, Salida, Fairplay, Montrose, Ouray, Telluride, Dove Creek, Silverton, Cortez, and Durango.

Advisory in Effect: 8:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, August 15, 2018 to 9:00 AM MDT, Thursday, August 16, 2018.

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: Widespread smoke from several in-state and out-of-state fires is impacting large sections of western Colorado. Periods of moderate to heavy smoke can be expected Wednesday through Thursday morning within the advisory area, especially in areas near local wildfires. The highest impacted areas will include locations near the Bull Draw Fire near the Montrose/Mesa County line, the Cabin Lake Fire in Rio Blanco County, and the Silver Creek Fire near the Routt County/Grand County line. Additional fire activity is possible near the Plateau Fire near the Dolores/Montezuma County line.



An increase in fire and firefighting activity is anticipated for some fires in western Colorado during the early part of the week. This is likely to increase smoke production and increase ambient haze and smoke throughout western portions of the state. If conditions are known to exist that threaten public health, additional Air Quality Health Advisories will be issued. However, UNUSUALLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE SHOULD CONSIDER REDUCING PROLONGED OR HEAVY EXERTION throughout the state of Colorado through Thursday morning.


Light to moderate concentrations of smoke are also possible near smaller wildfires and prescribed burns 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. 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.


Summer Ozone Program
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Ground-level ozone is an air pollution problem that impacts the health of all Coloradans. Exposure can cause acute respiratory problems and trigger asthma attacks. During Ozone Action Alerts, avoid rigorous outdoor activity during the heat of the day. Prolonged exposure can cause long-lasting damage to your lungs.

You CAN make a difference by doing your part to improve air quality along Denver’s Front Range. Combining or skipping just two car trips a week has a positive impact on our air quality. Find other easy solutions that fit your lifestyle from Simple Steps. Better Air. (http://www.SimpleStepsBetterAir.org), a program of the Regional Air Quality Council.

Additional Information
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WHAT IS AN ACTION DAY?: An Action Day for fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone or other pollutants indicates that either current air quality is unhealthy or conditions are expected to worsen later in the day or on the next day. Action Days for air pollutants generally indicate that air quality will be in either the Unhealthy or Unhealthy-for-Sensitive-Groups categories according to the Air Quality Index. Action Days always convey overarching public health recommendations, and, according to season, trigger a variety of mandatory and voluntary pollution prevention measures. For example, during the summer open burning is prohibited when an Action Day for ozone and/or fine particulates is in effect. During the winter, residential burning restrictions are in effect when an Action Day for Visibility is in effect.

For a detailed description of both the AIR QUALITY INDEX and the VISIBILITY STANDARD INDEX please visit https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/brochure.aspx

COLORADO OPEN BURN FORECAST: For those with permits for open burning, that is the burning of waste materials or vegetation outside, check the following webpage to find out if open burning is allowed today. Keep in mind that open burning is prohibited when an Action Day is in effect:
https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/burn_forecast.aspx

FOR CURRENT FRONT RANGE ACTION DAYS/ADVISORIES:
https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx

FOR CURRENT AIR QUALITY CONDITIONS STATEWIDE:
https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/air_quality.aspx

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://www.facebook.com/cdphe.apcd
https://twitter.com/cdpheapcd


AIR QUALITY NOTIFICATIONS:
https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/request_alerts.aspx(CDPHE automated e-mail alerts)
http://www.enviroflash.info/signup.cfm(CDPHE forecasts via automated e-mails from the EPA)