Smoke in the valley coming from Arizona wildfires
Aspen air quality deemed ‘moderate’ Monday morning
The haze of smoke in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout parts of Colorado on Monday mainly came from wildfires in Arizona, according to posts from public health, safety and weather agencies.
“Smoke from wildfires in Arizona will be transported northeast to Colorado over the next few days,” according to a Monday morning Colorado Smoke Outlook update from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Although widespread public health impacts are not anticipated at this time, hazy skies and light to moderate concentrations of smoke can be expected at times through Wednesday morning. The best chance for noticeable smoke Monday morning will be for interior valleys in the mountains.”
Curious about the smoke you see in the RFV today? It is coming from fires in AZ to our southwest. The image from NOAA attached shows it clearly.— Pitkin Co. Sheriff (@PitkinSheriff) June 13, 2022
If you’re interested in air quality information for the Roaring Fork Valley click on this link: https://t.co/Z8BytrVy81 pic.twitter.com/V7yP0Gqpic
A forecast loop of projected smoke indicates that the smoke is “primarily drifting into Colorado from the Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff, AZ, which ignited yesterday,” according to a tweet from the National Weather Service Denver/Boulder forecast office.
“Most of the smoke is currently elevated and not near the surface (except in the high country), but expect increased surface concentrations later today as the hot conditions help mix down the air aloft,” another tweet from the National Weather Service in Boulder states.
Some of you have asked about the smoky sky this morning. That smoke aloft is primarily drifting into Colorado from the Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff, AZ, which ignited yesterday.— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) June 13, 2022
Here's a forecast loop showing projected smoke through today. #COwx pic.twitter.com/GRiJba5vaN
Air quality went from “good” to “moderate” around 7 a.m. Monday in Aspen, according to the AirNow fire and smoke map. The air quality index (AQI) on Monday morning ranged from a score of 66 to 92; the threshold for a “moderate” designation is an AQI of 51 to 100, according to an AirNow fact sheet.
Under moderate air quality conditions, anyone can still go outside or open windows if they wish. Smoke-sensitive individuals should “consider keeping outdoor activities light and short,” according to the AirNow website.
The data comes from a permanent air quality monitor located at the Yellow Brick building in Aspen’s West End. AirNow is the result of a partnership between the “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, and tribal, state, and local air quality agencies,” according to its website.
The Pitkin County Public Safety Council has additional information about responding to air quality changes and preparing for wildfires online at pitkinemergency.org.