Northern Colorado under smoke advisory |

Northern Colorado under smoke advisory

Ryan Hoffman
Here'sFriday morning's hazy view from the Mushroom Rock trail outside of Carbondale.
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

The northern half of Colorado is under a smoke health advisory that is expected to last at least through Saturday morning due to large wildfires burning across much of the Northwest.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the advisory at 8 a.m. Friday, warning that much of the northern half of the state, including Garfield County, could be unhealthy for sensitive groups because of the amount of fine particulates in the air.

Sensitive groups include the very young and elderly, as well as individuals with heart disease or respiratory illnesses.

The state agency warned that smoke reaches unhealthy levels if visibility is less than 5 miles, and that outdoor activities should be limited in areas of moderate to heavy smoke.

The health department advisory remains in effect at least until 9 a.m. Saturday.

Some light relief could come throughout Friday as flow patterns shift incoming winds from the northwest to the west, said Norv Larson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. However, the disturbance likely will not be “profound.”

“It remains to be seen whether that will diminish the amount of smoke in the air in the short term,” Larson said.

More significant relief will likely come later this weekend or early next week when incoming wind patterns flow back around from the southwest, according to Larson.

“That should erode the smoke in the area,” he said.

As of Thursday, the National Interagency Fire Center reported 76 active large fires, most of which are located in the Northwest. None of those were in Colorado.

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