UPDATED: CDPHE extends air quality advisory for Pitkin, other western Colorado counties
Two fires near Steamboat have burned more than 3,700 acres
Pitkin County and much of western Colorado will remain under an air quality advisory all day Thursday and into Friday because of smoke from ongoing wildfires near Steamboat and other parts of the West.
On Thursday morning, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment extended the advisory until 9 a.m. Friday. The CDPHE first issued the advisory Tuesday for Pitkin County as well as Garfield, Eagle, Moffat, Routt, Grand, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Delta and Gunnison counties.
“The heaviest smoke impacts will be in northern parts of the advisory area, especially locations directly downwind from Routt County wildfires. This includes Steamboat Springs and Walden,” the agency said Thursday. “Areas of heavy smoke will also be possible for the local valleys of the advisory area where smoke will be slow to dissipate during the day on Thursday, and will likely redevelop Thursday night.”
The Deep Creek Fire near Steamboat is burning north of U.S. Highway 40 between Milner and Hayden near Wolf Mountain and as of Thursday morning was at zero containment. It exploded from 2 acres to 419 acres Monday afternoon and then to more than 2,000 acres by Tuesday morning and as of Wednesday morning had burned 2,286 acres.
The Big Red Fire, also near Steamboat, has burned about 1,400 acres close to the Wyoming border. It started Aug. 19 but has spread in the past few days in hot, dry weather.
The agency suggests anyone with heart disease or respiratory illnesses and the very young and the elderly stay inside while the smoke remains. CDPHE also suggests limiting outside activities for those in good health. The agency also recommended people relocate temporarily “if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.”
CDPHE’s advisory area includes Aspen, Craig, Steamboat Springs, Walden, Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling, Rangely, Meeker, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Eagle, Vail, Grand Junction, Delta and Gunnison.
“If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. … If visibility is less than 5 miles (because of) smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy,” the agency said in the update.
For updates on air quality conditions in the Aspen area, visit http://www.aspenairquality.com.
Nearly three years after Aspen City Council cleared the founder of Jazz Aspen Snowmass to launch a jazz performance and education center downtown, Jim Horowitz said he expects the project will get rolling before the year is over.
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