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Poor air quality for much of Colorado Friday due to large wildfires

Health advisories, action alerts in effect until at least 9 a.m. Saturday
Denver smoke haze wildfires aug 14 2020
Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 14, 2020

DENVER – Health advisories and action alerts for poor air quality due mainly to wildfire smoke have been issued for most of Colorado Friday as smoke fills the mountains and Front Range due to several large wildfires burning in various parts of the state.

That won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has ventured outside or opened their windows Friday. A brown haze can be seen across most of the state and visibility was limited in the mountains and along the Front Range because of the smoke coming from three large wildfires – the Pine Gulch Fire, the Grizzly Creek Fire and the Cameron Peak Fire. A fourth fire, the Williams Fork Fire, started on Friday.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality health advisory, which is in effect until 9 a.m. Saturday, for nearly every county and city in the central and northern mountains and Western Slope.

Periods of moderate to heavy smoke can be expected through the afternoon and into the evening to the east and southeast of the Grizzly Creek and Pine Gulch fires, and the smoke will also move past the Continental Divide, though it is likely to not be as heavy.

But with the added smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire in western Larimer County, the Front Range was still very hazy Friday, causing the CDPHE to issue an action day for multiple pollutants, with the highest concentrations in the metro area and Fort Collins area.

People who already have respiratory issues, asthma or other conditions are advised to limit their outdoor exposure, and people in general are advised to limit using gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles.

People with heart or lung conditions, those with cardiopulmonary issues and older adults are also advised to keep from being outside or exerting a lot of energy on Friday.

“This is more than a nuisance. Not only are we dealing with smoke but we’re dealing with COVID-19,” Scott Landes of the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) told Denver7 Thursday.