Colorado Smoke Outlook

Thursday, August 25, 2016, 2:20 PM MDT

Areas of haze and smoke may linger throughout the Front Range until at least Friday afternoon, when atmospheric mixing should decrease fine particulate concentrations and bring clearer skies.

The 37,403 acre Beaver Creek Wildfire is located in northwestern Jackson County approximately 24 miles northwest of Walden. The wind at the fire on Thursday afternoon will mainly be out of a west or northwesterly direction, however showers and thunderstorms are expected near the fire Thursday afternoon and into Thursday night. This will help to decrease fire activity and limit smoke production, however erratic and gusty winds may send smoke in any direction. As showers decrease late Thursday night, drainage flow will likely pool any smoke that is produced in northern parts of North Park overnight Thursday night and into Friday morning. This would mainly include the area to the north of the community of Cowdrey to the Wyoming state line.

The 16,754 acre Hayden Pass Wildfire is located in western Fremont County approximately 20 miles southeast of Salida. Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. Soaking rain should limit smoke production at the fire, however any smoke that is produced could move in any direction due to gusty, erratic winds. Shower activity will likely persist through Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The 110 acre Lost Solar Wildfire located near the Rio Blanco/Garfield county line approximately 24 miles southwest of Meeker. Winds at the fire on Thursday will mainly be out of a westerly direction. However, rain showers with the possibility of embedded thunderstorms remain possible Thursday afternoon and into Thursday night. This activity could produce erratic, gusty winds and send smoke in any direction. Showers are expected to taper off overnight and drainage winds will cause any smoke that is produced to move toward low lying terrain. Areas affected by this are those in the South Fork White River drainage.

What if there is a wildfire or smoke in your area that is not reported above?

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. Fine particulates may reach the Unhealthy category where smoke is heavy. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. 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.

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