Hold Your Breath, Folks, It’s A Smoky One Out There


Feeling hazy? You’re not alone. In fact, of the 121 fires currently ablaze in the United States, 38 of them have been categorized as large and un-contained by the USDA Forest Service. And it’s not just the four burning in Colorado that has many around the state struggling to breathe. Smoke from the 21 wildfires in Montana is traveling over 800 miles, and even further due to the fires burning in Oregon, to cast a blurry haze over the mountainous horizon.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment  (CDPHE)  issued an official air quality warning Saturday for  Routt, Jackson, and Grand counties in Colorado due to smoky conditions.  

The environmental report also stated an advisory watch for the front range and into Denver, with very little precipitation expected over the next few days.

Even outside of burn areas, many local hospitals have seen a spike in respiratory complaints following the wildfires, with many patients entering emergency rooms complaining of shortness of breath or trouble breathing altogether.  The threat presents an even greater danger for those with pre-existing respiratory issues such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

The CDPHE issued the following warning 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.”

With no mention of having the fires contained yet, firefighters, state and local officials, and residents are working day and night.  They are holding their breath, waiting for a rain storm to save us all from the hellfire destruction.

For hourly updates on current air quality conditions visit, click here.