DENVER (CBS4) – Smoke coming primarily from two wildfires northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park has caused the air to be declared unhealthy for everyone along the Front Range on Wednesday.
Ash was visible in many neighborhoods around Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins early Wednesday morning. The smoke worsened throughout the day and more falling ash is possible.
Visibility will be quite poor at times.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment encourages residents to stay indoors as much as possible especially when the smoke is thick. Outdoor exercise is also discouraged.
CDPHE has issued Air Quality Alerts for the entire I-25 corridor in Colorado from Trinidad to Fort Collins. The northern mountains are also part of the alert including Routt, Jackson, Grand, Clear Clear, and Gilpin counties. The health department in Wyoming also has alert for all of southeast Wyoming including Cheyenne.
The CBS4 Weather Team projected that the Mullen Fire west of Laramie, Wyoming, would send even more smoke toward the Denver metro area by late afternoon or early evening on Wednesday. Smoke from other fires including the Cameron Peak Fire near Red Feather Lakes will also contribute to the elevated smoke levels.
The combination of smoke and a weak cold front moving into Colorado from Nebraska will also drop temperatures 5 to 10 degrees compared to Tuesday when Denver reached 81 degrees. High temperatures around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins will be in the lower and middle 70s on Wednesday which is near normal for the final day of September.
Another 5 degree drop will occur Thursday before 70s return for Friday and the weekend. Generally speaking, wildfire smoke should be less noticeable after Wednesday but there will still be smoke in the air most days.