Why is the air quality unhealthy in Denver? | Westword


Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Leads to Another Colorado Action Day Alert

The bad air warning continues.
The Colorado Capitol Building sits under a blanket of smoke from Canadian wildfires.
The Colorado Capitol Building sits under a blanket of smoke from Canadian wildfires. Thomas Mitchell
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While Texas Governor Gregg Abbott just sent up a busload of migrants from the south, smoke from Canadian wildfires continues coming down from the north and is now blanketing the Front Range. As a result, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued another Action Day Alert starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, for the urban corridor from Douglas County north to Larimer and Weld counties, including the Denver-Boulder area, Fort Collins and Greeley. Air quality is expected to improve tomorrow.

Over the last few days, however, the air quality has been so poor that some Denver residents are dusting off their pandemic-era masks before going outside.

According to the CDPHE, ozone and fine particulates levels have steadily increased and have now reached the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category. As a result, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

All the rest of us can go to bars and lift nothing heavier than a beer bottle — or a joint, since we're all breathing in smoke anyway — and thank the universe that at least Colorado has received a good dose of rain in May. We need the moisture.

Find more information on Front Range air quality forecasts and advisories on the Colorado health department site, and see who'll get hit next on this smoke forecast map.

By the way, the Colorado ozone alert season doesn't officially start until June 1.
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