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Colorado Smoke Outlook

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Sunday, October 1, 2023, 4:05 PM MDT

Two new wildfires have ignited in Garfield County, one is approximately 16 miles northwest of Glenwood Springs in mainly rural portions of Garfield County, and one just east of Parachute, south of I-70. No significant public health impacts are expected from these fires, however in these areas unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion if smoke is apparent.

The Iron wildfire is located in northeastern Moffat County, approximately 19 miles northwest of Craig. Winds in this area are expected to be mainly out of the southwest during daytime hours on Sunday and Monday, becoming light and variable during the overnight hours. Smoke form this fire may be visible from locations near Craig, along Highway 40 and Highway 13. Smoke is expected to be transported to the northeast of the fires location, and into mainly rural portions of Moffat County and southern Wyoming during daytime hours. Overnight, smoke may become locally heavy in the immediate vicinity of the fire, and along Highway 13, north of Craig. In areas where smoke is present, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Sunday and Monday.

The 580 acre Hope Fire is burning in northern Montezuma County, in the San Juan National Forest northwest of Dolores, CO and McPhee Reservoir. Light to moderate smoke is possible near this fire, particularly during overnight and early morning hours. Unusually sensitive people should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion in areas where smoke is present.

Light to moderate concentrations of smoke are also possible near small wildfires and other 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. To temporarily relocate to an area with better air quality, consider using this map ( to identify the best area closest to you. IF VISIBILITY IS LESS THAN 5 MILES IN SMOKE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, SMOKE HAS REACHED LEVELS THAT ARE UNHEALTHY.

Additional Information

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ACTION DAYS: An Action Day for fine particulate matter (particulates), 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 trigger voluntary pollution prevention measures, which may vary by season, and public health recommendations.

The AIR QUALITY INDEX reports the daily level of air pollution on an hourly basis. The index reports the highest level of either carbon monoxide, fine particulates or ozone depending on which pollutant has the greatest hourly concentration. Values greater than 100 for carbon monoxide, fine particulates and ozone indicate exceedances of the pollutant's state and federal standards. Air Quality Index values between 0-50 are good, 51-100 moderate, 101-150 unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy, and over 300 hazardous.

COLORADO OPEN BURN FORECAST: For those with permits for Open Burning, that is burning of waste materials or vegetation outside, check the following webpage to find out if open burning is allowed today: