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Colorado Smoke Outlook

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 1:50 PM MDT

The 60 acre Ptarmigan wildfire is located in central Summit County, approximately 2 miles north of Silverthorne. Winds will come mainly from the west or northwest on Tuesday, and are expected to remain light. Rain showers and thunderstorms are also possible on Tuesday afternoon and evening. These storms may create gusty, erratic winds that can send smoke in any direction. Overnight, lingering rain showers, cool temperatures, and increased relative humidity will help to limit fire behavior and smoke production. However, drainage winds will allow smoke to settle in low lying areas immediately below the fire during the overnight early morning hours. Affected locations include Silverthorne, Dillon, and surrounding areas. In these areas unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Smoke transported from out-of-state wildfires is creating hazy skies and light concentrations of fine particulates across northern Colorado. There is potential for increasing amounts of smoke to enter Colorado throughout the day on Tuesday, particularly during the afternoon hours in northwestern portions of the state. No significant health impacts are anticipated at this time. However, on Tuesday afternoon fine particulate levels may periodically reach the Moderate category in areas of northwestern Colorado. We will continue to monitor smoke levels and provide updated information on this page, including Air Quality Health Advisories, if needed. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion in northwestern Colorado on Tuesday.

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.

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: