Translate

Colorado Smoke Outlook

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK:
Sunday, September 15, 2019, 3:45 PM MDT

The 355 acre Decker wildfire is located in northeastern Saguache County, approximately 8 miles south of Poncha Springs. Winds near the fire on Sunday will primarily be out of the west during the morning hours, transporting smoke to locations east of the fire. This could bring periods of light to moderate smoke to Salida, Cleora, Wellsville, and Howard. On Sunday afternoon, winds are expected to shift to come from the south or southeast, transporting smoke toward the north or northwest of the fire. This may bring periods of smoke to Cleora, Salida, and Poncha Springs, and. Rain showers and thunderstorms become possible on Sunday afternoon and evening, and may produce gusty, erratic winds that can send smoke in any direction. The winds will be gustier and more erratic on Monday with a continued threat for thunderstorms near the fire. During the overnight hours, drainage winds will allow smoke to settle in locations below the fire, both to the south and southwest in northeastern Saguache County, and toward the east or northeast in western Fremont County. Areas with the best chance for smoke will be along and near US Highway 285, from Alder south to Villa Grove, and in areas of the Arkansas River Valley near State Highway 50 near Wellsville and Howard.

The 75 acre McNey wildfire is located in Larimert County, approximately 10 miles southwest of Livermore. Winds near this fire will be mainly out of the south or southeast on Sunday, transporting smoke toward the northwest of the fire. This may bring periods of smoke to the Red Feather Lakes area. Overnight, light drainage winds will allow smoke to settle in low-lying terrain immediately below the fire. The heaviest impacts from smoke will remain in areas along the Lone Pine Creek drainage. Periods of light to moderate smoke may be experienced in the Gordon Creek drainage to the south of the fire. Smoke from this fire may be visible from Red Feather Lakes, Livermore, La Porte, Fort Collins, and Wellington.

The 2,696 acre Hunt wildfire is located in southern Rio Blanco County, approximately 30 miles southwest of Meeker. Winds near the fire will primarily be out of the west and southwest on Sunday. This will transport smoke to locations east and northeast of the fire, perhaps bringing some brief smoke to White River City and Meeker. The winds will be gustier and more erratic on Monday with thunderstorms possible near the fire. During the overnight hours on Sunday and early Monday morning, the winds will be light which may allow smoke to settle in low-lying terrain immediately below the fire to the northeast. This could bring periods of smoke to residences along County Road 5 to the east of its intersection with County Road 26.

Several prescribed fires are occurring in southwestern Colorado. Smoke may be visible at times from these fires, particularly along State Highway 160 from Durango eastward through Bayfield to Pagosa Springs. In areas near active fire activity and lingering smoke, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion through the weekend, particularly during the early morning hours when smoke will likely be heaviest.

Light to moderate concentrations of smoke are also possible near small wildfires and prescribed burns 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.