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Colorado Smoke Outlook

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK
Sunday, September 23, 2018, 8:00 AM MDT

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

Issued for western parts of Grand County
Issued at 8:30 AM MDT, Sunday, September 23, 2018

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: western parts of Grand County

Advisory in Effect: 8:30 AM MDT, Sunday, September 23, 2018 to 9:00 AM MDT, Monday, September 24, 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: Areas of moderate to heavy smoke from the Silver Creek Fire can be expected Sunday morning in western parts of Grand County. This will mainly impact rural areas along and near Highway 40 to the north of Kremmling. On Sunday, winds will be light and variable throughout the morning hours, and are expected to then shift to come generally from the west or southwest in the afternoon, moving smoke to the east or northeast of the fire. Late Sunday night and early Monday morning smoke will likely drain from the fire eastward, once again impacting western parts of Grand County to the north of Kremmling, particularly along low-lying areas near the Wolford Mountain Reservoir with periods of moderate to heavy smoke.


The 33,819 acre Bull Draw Fire is located approximately 12 miles northwest of Nucla near the Montrose/Mesa County line. Winds at the fire on Sunday are expected to be light and variable during the morning hours, then shift to come from the south or southwest in the afternoon, perhaps remaining breezy into the overnight hours. This will transport smoke north or northeast of the fire, producing periods of smoke in rural parts of Montrose and Mesa Counties. Smoke from this fire will be visible from major roadways in the vicinity. Overnight, smoke will also settle into local drainages including Bull Draw, Big and Little Johnson Creek, Spring Creek, and in mainly rural portions of Montrose and Mesa Counties in and around the Uncompahgre National Forest. No significant public health impacts are expected.

The 702 acre Horse Fire is located 16 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County. Winds at the fire on Sunday are expected to come from the south or southwest, sending smoke north or northeast of the fire. This will produce periods of smoke in mainly rural areas of Archuleta County. Smoke from this fire will be visible from major roadways in the vicinity of the fire, and will settle in local drainages overnight. No significant public health impacts are expected.

The 2,725 acre Ryan Fire is located 20 miles northwest of Walden in northern Jackson County, spanning the Wyoming State line. On Sunday, winds at the fire will be out of west or southwest, sending smoke to the east or northeast of the fire. This will produce periods of smoke in remote locations near the fire, with much of the smoke impacting locations in Wyoming. Overnight, smoke will settle in low lying areas, affecting the Encampment River drainage, the Damfino Creek drainage, and along the Big Creek drainages. No significant public health impacts are expected.

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.