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Wildfire smoke drifting south from Canada forces air quality health advisories in Colorado

Posted at 12:27 PM, Sep 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-07 14:27:10-04

Air quality health advisories are in effect for several Colorado counties as smoke from Canada's wildfires continues to move across the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said the advisory will impact the following counties until 9 a.m. Friday:

  • Logan County
  • Sedgwick County
  • Phillips County
  • Morgan County
  • Washington County
  • Yuma County
  • Lincoln County
  • Kit Carson County
  • Cheyenne County
  • People with heart disease and respiratory illnesses may want to stay inside if smoke becomes thick in their neighborhoods. The same goes for very young or older individuals, the CDPHE said.

The smoke is stemming from wildfires in Canada. Winds are bringing the smoke south to northeastern and east-central Colorado.

Map updated as of 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

As of Thursday at noon, more than 1,000 active fires are burning in Canada, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Of those, 651 are listed as "out of control." Most are in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

Click here to see the map.

Canadian wildfire smoke in Colorado again Thursday

In addition, eastern Archuleta County, southern Mineral County and Hinsdale County are under an air quality health advisory due to the Quartz Ridge and Bear Creek Fires burning in the San Juan Mountains more than 15 miles outside Pagosa Springs.

This smoke should decrease Thursday morning, but in the evening, moderate to heavy smoke will accumulate along Weminuche Creek in southern Hinsdale County west of Williams Creek campground, the CDPHE said. The Quartz Fire, which is in eastern Archuleta County, may produce heavy smoke overnight along East Fork Road westward to Highway 160 north of Pagosa Springs.

Click here to learn more about wildfire smoke impacts on your health.

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