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Colorado Smoke Outlook

COLORADO SMOKE OUTLOOK:
Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 2:00 PM MDT

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

Issued for central Rio Blanco County
Issued at 9:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: central Rio Blanco County.

Advisory in Effect: 9:00 AM MDT, Wednesday, July 15, 2020 to 9:00 AM MDT, Thursday, July 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: Moderate to heavy smoke from several local wildfires has been observed Wednesday morning across central parts of Rio Blanco County. Smoke will decrease by late Wednesday morning as atmospheric mixing increases. With westerly winds expected, smoke will move to the east Wednesday afternoon but should generally stay aloft. However by late Wednesday evening, smoke will being to drain to lower lying areas surrounding the fires, including Piceance Creek. Areas most likely to see smoke impacts through early Thursday morning include State Highway 64 to the west of Meeker, and County Road 5 to the west of Stewart Gulch.


Smoke from wildfires in Utah and Nevada could further contribute to fine particulate concentrations in northwestern Colorado Wednesday and Thursday. For areas in northwestern Colorado not included in the above advisory, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Wednesday and Thursday.


The 50 acre Elephant Butte wildfire is located in western Jefferson County, approximately 3 miles west of Evergreen. Smoke impacts are expected to be greatest in areas in the immediate vicinity of the fire. Thunderstorms are possible in this area Wednesday afternoon, and may produce gusty erratic winds that can send smoke in any direction. Overnight Wednesday night, light winds may allow smoke to settle in low lying terrain in areas near the fire. Periods of light to moderate smoke will be possible in locations including, but not limited to, Evergreen. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion in this area through early Thursday morning.

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?
AC 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.