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Wildfire smell Tuesday morning likely stems from 3 prescribed burns

The Blue Ridge, Magic Feather and Payne Gulch prescribed burns underway
Smoke smell in the air Tuesday October 10.jpg
Posted at 8:45 AM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 12:44:50-04

DENVER — You might have smelled something like a campfire Tuesday morning across the Denver metro area. It likely stems from three ongoing prescribed burns in the mountains, Denver7 Meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo said.

The Blue Ridge, Magic Feather and Payne Gulch prescribed burns were all underway early Tuesday, and the wind carried the smell into the city.

Wildfire smell Tuesday morning likely stems from 3 prescribed burns

The Blue Ridge prescribed burn was happening south of Granby, according to Tuesday's Colorado Smoke Outlook from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 85 acres were burned there Monday. Overnight, crews monitored and patrolled the fire line before resuming the prescribed burn Tuesday.

The Magic Feather prescribed burn was ongoing northwest of Fort Collins, according to Tuesday's Colorado Smoke Outlook.

The Payne Gulch prescribed burn was started Sunday near Bailey, burning through a total of 449 acres over the last two days, the United States Forest Service said. Firefighters were expected to be on scene to mop up and patrol the fire's edge Tuesday. But smoke and some flames could be seen from Highway 285 and along Park County Road 64 for a few days to a few weeks, impacting visibility, the U.S. Forest Service posted on Facebook.

This is a normal part of prescribed burns, seeing smoke and flames, even after dark. The U.S. Forest Service said it should clear out each day, and it does not pose a risk to firefighters being able to contain the burn.

There will be a lot of firefighters along County Road 64 Tuesday, which could temporarily shut down the street to drivers. If you can, the U.S. Forest Service asks people traveling in that area find an alternate route.

The Brookside Trail and parking area will also be closed Tuesday out of an abundance of caution for the Payne Gulch prescribed burn, and the U.S. Forest Service will patrol to make sure it's clear of hikers.

While you can smell the smoke all the way in Denver and may see it across parts of the metro, there are no significant public health impacts, according to CPDHE. The agency said there is one exception though. If the smoke in your neighborhood reduces visibility to less than 5 miles, it has reached unhealthy levels and you may want to temporarily relocate.

If you have heart disease or respiratory illnesses, you may also want to stay inside or temporarily relocate.

CDPHE said you can use this map to identify the area closest to you with better air quality.

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