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Special Air Quality Statement
High ozone and periods of heavy smoke for the Front Range region.

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke for large sections of northern, central and western Colorado.

Click HERE for details.

Front Range
Action Day for Multiple Pollutants
Until at least 4 p.m. 08/15/2020

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The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council have issued an ACTION DAY ALERT at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020 for the Front Range Urban Corridor from Douglas County north to Larimer and Weld counties, including the Denver-Boulder area, Fort Collins and Greeley.

Due to wildfire smoke transported into the Front Range, Ozone and Fine Particulate concentrations could both reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category at times through Saturday afternoon across the Colorado Front Range region. The greatest air quality impacts are expected to be for locations within the Denver Metro area, as well as northward along the I-25 corridor to Fort Collins, including areas west of I-25 within the foothills, especially in Larimer County due to smoke from the Cameron Peak wildfire.

This Multiple Pollutants Action Day Alert will remain in effect until at least 4 p.m. Saturday, August 15, 2020.

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 15, 2020, is 45 which indicates Good ozone air quality. It was recorded by the MAN ambient ozone monitor.

The highest Particulate Matter (PM2.5) related AQI at 1 o'clock AM Mountain Standard Time on August 15, 2020, is 85 which indicates Moderate Particulate Matter (PM2.5) air quality. It was recorded by the CASA 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:
Friday, August 14, 2020, 2:00 PM MDT

Due to wildfire smoke transported into the Front Range, Ozone and Fine Particulate concentrations could both reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category at times through Saturday afternoon. The greatest air quality impacts are expected to be for locations within the Denver Metro area, as well as northward along the I-25 corridor to Fort Collins, including areas west of I-25 within the lower foothills, especially in Larimer County due to smoke from the Cameron Peak wildfire. High ozone could also expand southward from Denver into the Colorado Springs area Friday afternoon. In all these areas, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion on Friday and Saturday. For all other areas within the Front Range, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Friday and Saturday.


Ozone concentrations are expected to be in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range on Friday and Saturday. See above for health recommendations.

Fine Particulate Matter concentrations are expected to be in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range on Friday and Saturday. See above for health recommendations.

Carbon Monoxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Friday and Saturday.

Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Friday and Saturday.

Visibility on Saturday is expected to be Poor.

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK:
Friday, August 14, 2020, 4:15 PM MDT

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

Issued for Routt, Eagle, Jackson, Grand, Summit, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Pitkin, Lake, Park, northern Mesa, central and eastern Garfield and eastern Rio Blanco counties
Issued at 9:00 AM MDT, Friday, August 14, 2020

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: Routt, Eagle, Jackson, Grand, Summit, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Pitkin, Lake, Park, northern Mesa, central and eastern Garfield, and eastern Rio Blanco counties. Locations include, but are not limited to Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek, Hayden, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Eagle, Avon, Vail, Walden, Kremmling, Granby, Georgetown, Central City, Aspen, Leadville, Fairplay, Grand Junction, Palisade, De Beque, Parachute, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, and Meeker.

Advisory in Effect: 9:00 AM MDT, Friday, August 14, 2020 to 9:00 AM MDT, Saturday, August 15, 2020.

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 heavy smoke has been observed across large sections of northern, central, and western Colorado due to the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek wildfires. Smoke will gradually diminish Friday morning as atmospheric mixing increases, with the slowest improvement occurring in valley locations. By Friday afternoon the wind at the fires will be out of a west to northwest direction. This will bring periods of moderate to heavy smoke for areas to the east and southeast of both wildfires, possibly including locations as far away as the Continental Divide. By late Friday evening smoke will begin to drain into lower lying areas surrounding both fires. This will bring longer duration, heavy smoke through early Saturday morning to several drainages near the Pine Gulch wildfire including into the De Beque and Grand Junction areas. Meanwhile, heavy overnight smoke from the Grizzly Creek wildfire will impact locations along Interstate 70 in central and eastern Garfield County.


The Cameron Peak wildfire is located near the Larimer/Jackson county line within the Medicine Bow Mountains in north-central Colorado. Heavy smoke from the fire will settle overnight towards the Laramie River. This area is currently under an advisory for Fine Particulates, so please follow the same health recommendations from the advisory above if you are located near the Cameron Peak wildfire.


The Williams Fork wildfire is located southern Grand County approximately 12 miles north of Silverthorne. Smoke from the fire should mainly stay aloft through Friday evening, but could produce periods of moderate to briefly heavy smoke downwind to east and southeast including locations along and near the I-70 corridor from Empire eastward to Denver and the adjacent eastern plains. Overnight Friday into Saturday morning, smoke from the fire will drain northward along Grand County Road 3 and Williams Fork. This entire area is currently under a wildfire smoke advisory or Action Day for Particulates from other wildfires, so please refer to the health messaging in the above advisory if you reside in any of these areas.


Light to moderate concentrations of smoke are also possible near small 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)