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 If you would like to receive an email advisory when the Air Pollution Control Division's smoke website is updated, contact us



There will be a change in pile burn smoke permit conditions for 2013.  "Unlimited" number of piles or "unlimited" pile volume will no longer be offered as a permit condition.  Unlimited was previously used away from homes when a storm is forecasted to occur on the assumption that the effects of a snowstorm would overwhelm any potential smoke impacts from burning.  On reviewing some permits that have especially large numbers of piles permitted, we realize there has not been experience to support completely unlimited burning even during a storm.  New upper limits for each category have been selected based on past experience.  As more burning occurs at the upper limits, we may adjust those limits in the future.
Please see the pile worksheet for additional information on the upper limits when a storm is forecasted.  To make it easier to review changes, a version with tracked changes has been posted temporarily. Changes will be made to 2013 permits. Please address any comments about this change to Pat McLaughlin at patrick.mclaughlin@state.co.us.

State of Colorado websites are being migrated to lower-cost software and web hosting.  We've used the opportunity to restructure the smoke website, hopefully for the better.  Nearly all the old content is still on the website but the way to reach it may have changed.


There now is a separate smoke home page for general public and a smoke home page for fire professionals.  The fire professionals' page is designed for people who work with smoke permits as part of their normal job duties. If you are reading this newsletter, it's probably for you.  For your new bookmarked smoke home page we suggest either the professionals' page or the smoke site index.


Unfortunately we don't have the option to provide redirects from the old smoke website.  If you have trouble finding something you think was or just should be on the smoke website, please contact us and/or check the smoke website's index page


Because there are no redirect options, the changeover means that the links in existing permits and other smoke documents you may already have don't work either.  We apologize.  For permits, it might be easiest to check blank forms.  For documents, please download new versions from this site.  Not all are quite ready as of the switch, however.  We're paddling hard!


We don't get a lot of input about our website, though we know most people who work with Colorado smoke permits use it.  We'd love to hear more suggestions for improving the website.

Do you want to be advised of air alerts without having to look them up? There are two new options. (1) If you have a smart phone, APCD is on Twitter. (2) If you prefer email, subscribe to a listserv. The people whose work air alerts are most likely to affect are on the northern or central Front Range.


The Air Division’s name on Twitter is cdpheapcd. We’re newly on Facebook also, at cdphe.apcd. You don’t need your own account to look at either one, but to subscribe you do. The listserv is a little more experimental, so contact us and ask to be added.


People still may check air quality alerts on the Department’s web page and/or the phone recording. People who don’t have smart phones and still want to subscribe to APCD’s Twitter account may. But unless you check Twitter routinely via computer, without a smart phone checking the alert page directly probably remains easier.


All air alerts are being posted to Twitter, including alerts for ozone, particulates, and/or visibility. It is a condition of every smoke permit that the burn may not be ignited if an air alert is in effect for that location. Most but not quite all of Colorado’s air alerts to date have been for urban Front Range counties.



See also the photo gallery.


Newsletter items are removed after 4-8 months. Please contact us if you want any archived items.


As always, ...

Input is welcome.


Patrick McLaughlin, Program Lead 




Coleen Campbell 




Sarah Gallup