Air quality warning issued for much of western Colorado, including Moffat |

Air quality warning issued for much of western Colorado, including Moffat

Counties and communities across Colorado are being warned of potentially harmful air quality this weekend, according to a warning Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The warning, issued at 8 a.m. on Friday, covers most of central and western Colorado, including Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Mesa, Pitkin, Lake, Park, Delta, Gunnison, Chaffee, Fremont, Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Saguache, Custer, Dolores, Montezuma, San Juan, La Plata, Mineral, Archuleta, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties.

Smoke levels caused by wildfires have created dangerous or unhealthy air quality situations in many of these communities. In Craig, air quality index data has labeled air as “unhealthy,” which can greatly affect those who have sensitive conditions like asthma, heart disease, respiratory illnesses and have great effects on the very young and the elderly.

“Heavy smoke from California wildfires will begin to move into northwestern Colorado Friday afternoon and spread in a southeasterly direction across the rest of western and central Colorado Friday night into Saturday morning,” the warning said. “Expect the heaviest smoke impacts in sheltered valley locations where atmospheric mixing is more limited.”

The CDPHE is also asking the public to consider limiting outdoor activities if they see moderate or heavy smoke and relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making them ill. The warning also says that if visibility is less than five miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

The advisory will remain in effect until Saturday, Aug. 7.

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