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Colorado Smoke Outlook

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK:
Friday, September 22, 2017, 2:20 PM MDT

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

Issued for Moffat County in northwestern Colorado
Issued at 8:00 AM MDT, Friday, September 22, 2017

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: Moffat County, including the communities of Elk Springs, Maybell, Sunbeam, Craig, and Lay.

Advisory in Effect: 8:00 AM MDT, Friday, September 22, 2017 to 9:00 AM MDT, Saturday, September 23, 2017.

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: Numerous fires in northwestern Colorado are creating Moderate to Heavy smoke concentrations in Moffat County; in particular, the 5,232 acre Winter Valley wildfire near Elk Springs. Smoke can be seen from portions of Highway 40 near Elk Springs. Areas of lesser concentrations of smoke are possible in areas to the north and northeast of Elk Springs, and the smell of smoke may be noticeable and smoke may be visible from additional communities including, but not limited to, Maybell, Sunbeam, Craig, and Lay. Moderate sustained winds and strong gusting winds are anticipated to continue out of the south and southwest through Friday afternoon and evening. Isolated rain showers and thunderstorms are also possible on Friday, and are capable of producing gusty, erratic winds that can send smoke in any direction. Winds are expected to decrease Friday night, and shift in direction, likely coming from the north or northeast late Friday night and into early Saturday morning.

The 109 acre Raven wildfire is burning in Rio Blanco County, 7 miles west of Rangely, CO. Light to moderate smoke is likely in Rangely and Dinosaur, as well as locations in and near Dinosaur National Monument. Winds at the fire are expected to be out of the south or southwest on Friday, with moderate sustained winds and gusty conditions likely. Smoke that is produced by this fire will likely be transported to the north or northeast of the fire, and may affect locations including Dinosaur, Massadona, and Elk Springs. Moderate sustained winds and strong gusting winds are anticipated to continue out of the south and southwest through Friday afternoon and evening. Isolated rain showers and thunderstorms are also possible on Friday, and are capable of producing gusty, erratic winds that can send smoke in any direction. Winds are expected to decrease Friday night, and shift in direction, likely coming from the north or northeast late Friday night and into early Saturday morning. If smoke becomes thick in your area, please refer to health recommendations below.

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.