DENVER (CBS4) – As final preparations are underway for the Home Run Derby and MLB All-Star Game in Denver, wildfire smoke will be prevalent in Colorado through at least Tuesday morning.
Most of the smoke is originating from out-of-state wildfires especially in California. But some in-state smoke is also visible mainly from the Morgan Creek Fire burning 15 miles north of Steamboat Springs in Routt County. As of Sunday night, the Morgan Creek Fire had grown over 3,000 acres in size and was 0% contained.
Because of smoke combined with high levels of ground level ozone, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has declared the air unhealthy for sensitive groups in the Denver metro area. There is an Air Quality Alert in effect until at least 4 p.m. Monday and the alert will likely be extended into Tuesday.
Sensitive groups are defined as young children, older adults, and anyone with asthma and other respiratory problems. These groups should avoid spending long periods of time outdoors on Monday.
There is also an Air Quality Alert in the mountains for wildfire smoke potentially being thick at times mainly west of the Continental Divide. The alert goes through 9 a.m. Tuesday and includes Steamboat Springs, Kremmling, Granby, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Breckenridge, Grand Junction, Aspen, Leadville, Delta, and Gunnison.
Smoke forecast models show the worse smoke for Denver and the Front Range could occur right around the time the Home Run Derby starts at 6 p.m. Monday. Most of the smoke will then shift west back into the mountains after sunset.
The forecast for the Home Run Derby otherwise looks good with only a 10% chance for a gusty thunderstorm early in the game and temperatures mainly in the 80s. It could still be lower 90s right at the start.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, there is a somewhat better chance for a few thunderstorms in the metro area during the late afternoon and early evening including during the first few innings of the All-Star Game. The chance looks no higher than 30%.
Then a better chance for showers and thunderstorms will develop on Wednesday along with slightly cooler high temperatures in the 80s instead of the 90s.