The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an ACTION DAY ALERT at 4PM on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 for the Front Range Urban Corridor from Douglas County north to Larimer and Weld counties, including the Denver-Boulder area, Fort Collins and Greeley.
An Air Quality Health Advisory was issued for the northern Front Range region Wednesday morning. If smoke conditions develop as expected, this advisory will transition to a regulatory Action Day Alert at 4 pm Wednesday. For more information on the advisory see:
This Particulates Action Day Alert will remain in effect until at least 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
At 6AM (MST), Wednesday, 9/16/2020 the highest AQI value was 74 for Particulate less than 2.5 micrometers which indicates Moderate air quality. Respiratory symptoms possible in unusually sensitive individuals, possible aggravation of heart or lung disease in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council's Summer 2020 Ozone Action Day Alert Program has concluded. The winter High Pollution Advisory Program begins on November 1. Air Quality Action Days or advisories for ozone for other pollutants, however, will be issued as needed at any time during the year and reported on this web page.
The Air Pollution Control Division's Winter 2020/2021 High Pollution Advisory Program will begin November 1. Thank you for your interest in and support for efforts to improve air quality for the citizens of the Denver- metro area.
Front Range Air Quality Forecast & Colorado Smoke Outlook
FRONT RANGE AIR QUALITY FORECAST:
Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 2:00 PM MDT
Ozone concentrations are expected to be in the Good to Moderate range on Tuesday and Wednesday. Moderate concentrations of ozone are possible throughout the Colorado Front Range region, so unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion between noon and 8 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fine Particulate Matter concentrations are expected to be in the Good to Moderate range on Tuesday and Wednesday. Moderate concentrations of fine particulates are most likely in the northern Colorado Front Range region, including Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, and the Denver Metro area. In these areas unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Carbon Monoxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations are expected to be in the Good category on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Visibility on is expected to be Moderate to Poor on Wednesday.
COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK:
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 7:00 AM MDT
Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke
Issued for the northern Front Range region
Issued at 7:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Affected Area: Larimer, Weld, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. Locations include, but are not limited to Ft. Collins, Greeley, Boulder, Broomfield, Golden, Denver, Brighton, Littleton, and Castle Rock.
Advisory in Effect: 7:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, September 16, 2020 to 4:00 PM MDT, Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
Public Health Recommendations: 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.
Outlook: Widespread smoke being transported from out-of-state wildfires will increase across the northern Front Range region Wednesday morning and continue through the afternoon hours. Additionally, smoke from the Cameron Peak wildfire will produce additional smoke for parts of Larimer County, particularly during the morning hours for locations along the Poudre River.
Note: If smoke conditions develop as expected, this advisory will transition to a regulatory Action Day Alert at 4pm Wednesday.
The 4,795 acre Middle Fork wildfire is located in eastern Routt County approximately 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs. The fire has become more active with warming and drying weather conditions, and an increase in fire activity and smoke production is once again expected on Tuesday. Winds will be primarily out of the northwest on Tuesday, transporting smoke to areas to the southeast of the fire. Light concentrations of smoke may be possible in Steamboat Springs at times on Tuesday afternoon. Upper level winds remain fairly light on Tuesday, so moderate to heavy smoke will mainly stay in close proximity to the fire in unpopulated areas. Overnight, smoke is expected to remain close to the fire, with some smoke draining west and southwestward along the Mad Creek drainage through early Wednesday morning.
The 102,596 acre Cameron Peak wildfire is located in western Larimer County, approximately 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes. Smoke impacts from this fire are expected to remain in areas within the immediate vicinity of the most active parts of the fire through Tuesday. A gradual warming and drying trend is expected to result in increased smoke production on Tuesday. Winds near the fire will be out of the north or northwest, transporting smoke to the south or southeast of the fire, potentially reaching the Front Range by Tuesday afternoon. Good atmospheric mixing will help to keep public health impacts minimal on Tuesday, however light to moderate concentrations of smoke will be possible in areas downwind from the fire. Overnight, smoke is expected to generally remain close to the fire, with some smoke draining westward along the upper Poudre River drainage through early Wednesday morning.
Light to moderate smoke is also possible near prescribed fires and small wildfires 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.
WHAT IS AN ACTION DAY?: An Action Day for fine particulate matter, 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 always convey overarching public health recommendations, and, according to season, trigger a variety of mandatory and voluntary pollution prevention measures. For example, during the summer open burning is prohibited when an Action Day for ozone and/or fine particulates is in effect. During the winter, residential burning restrictions are in effect when an Action Day for Visibility is in effect.
COLORADO OPEN BURN FORECAST: For those with permits for open burning, that is the burning of waste materials or vegetation outside, check the following webpage to find out if open burning is allowed today. Keep in mind that open burning is prohibited when an Action Day is in effect: