Colorado Smoke Outlook

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 2:00 PM MDT

The 3,300 acre Carson Midway wildfire is located near the eastern edge of Fort Carson in southwestern El Paso County and northwestern Pueblo County. The wildfire has been extinguished, however, within the burn scar a wall constructed with many bales of tires continue to burn and produce localized areas of potentially toxic smoke. There is a significant health risk if this smoke is encountered. Strong caution is advised for areas within a half mile of this fire and directly in the path of the smoke. At this time, no communities are known to be affected. Wind near the fire will come from the south on Wednesday afternoon transporting any smoke to the north of the fire. Overnight winds will shift to come from the west or northwest, transporting smoke to the east or southeast overnight. On Thursday, winds will once again be out of the south.

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. 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.