*NEW* Smoke outlook pages for Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek Fires
The Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires have created smoke outlook pages that will be updated throughout the incident.
–Pine Gulch: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado
Air advisory in effect for Garfield County: 9:00 am MDT, Saturday, August 16, 2020 to 9:00 am MDT, Monday, August 17, 2020. Air quality in Garfield County is projected to reach the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’.
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: Areas of moderate to heavy smoke have been observed Sunday morning across portions of central and western Colorado due to the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek wildfires. Smoke will gradually diminish Sunday morning as atmospheric mixing increases, with the slowest improvement occurring in valley locations. By Sunday afternoon the wind at the fires will be out of a north to northwesterly direction. This could bring periods of moderate to heavy smoke for areas to the south and southeast of both wildfires, especially the Pine Gulch wildfire where the winds will be stronger. By late Sunday evening smoke will begin to drain into lower lying areas surrounding both fires. This will bring longer duration, heavy smoke through early Monday morning to several drainages near the Pine Gulch wildfire including into the De Beque and Grand Junction areas. Meanwhile, heavy overnight smoke from the Grizzly Creek wildfire will impact locations along Interstate 70 in central and eastern Garfield County.
Where to watch for information
Grizzly Creek fire smoke page
Pine Gulch Fire smoke page
Garfield County air monitoring web page.
State Air Quality Health Advisory page.
Low-Cost, community-based PurpleAir sensors along the I-70 corridor.
Low-cost sensors, such as PurpleAir, can be used as an indicator of elevated levels of particulates in the air and help by adding data coverage in areas where there are not permanent regulatory monitors.
Public Health advises setting the default to a “one day average” rather than “10-minute average” because being exposed to moderate to heavy smoke for a short term period may not have the same health impacts as being exposed for a full 24-hours. It is important to understand that these low-cost sensors are not considered accurate enough to be used in regulatory action. These sensors are not a reference method nor approved by EPA for compliance with federal air quality standards.