Air quality advisory issued Monday after wildfire smoke drifts across northern Colorado | MyWindsorNow.com

Air quality advisory issued Monday after wildfire smoke drifts across northern Colorado

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Houses disappear into the smoke in a neighborhood in west Greeley Monday.

Windsor was shadowed with smoke Monday, which could have been dangerous to residents' health.

Greeley and other cities below 7,000 feet in eastern Colorado were placed under an air quality health advisory for wildfire smoke, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

According to the department's website, moderate to heavy smoke was expected to be seen through at least Tuesday morning, and all were advised to follow precautions.

Those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young and the elderly were advised to limit outdoor activity, according to the website, and reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Less than five miles of visibility means the smoke has reached unhealthy levels, according to the department. According to the National Weather Service, visibility in the Greeley and Windsor area was at four miles Monday afternoon.

The Big Red wildfire, in northeast Routt County, has burned almost 600 acres, according to the department, and smoke has been moving east or north of the fire. Smoke also is coming from fires in the northwestern U.S. and western Canada, according to the department's website.

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Winds wreaked havoc on those wildfires, which were threatening two crown jewels of the National Park Service on Monday, pushing the flames toward manmade and natural icons in and around Glacier National Park in Montana and Yosemite National Park in California.

The wind-driven fires, combined with high temperatures and dry conditions, disrupted holiday travel and hampered firefighters across the West during a Labor Day weekend that capped a devastating summer in which an area larger than Rhode Island has burned.

The dozens of fires burning across the West and Canada have blanketed the air with choking smoke from Oregon, where ash fell on the town of Cascade Lakes, to Colorado, where health officials issued the air quality advisory.

The advisory lasted from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Air quality

To view air quality advisories in your area, go to http://www.colorado.gov/airquality.

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