Smoke from West Coast wildfires lowered air quality across the Front Range Thursday, with air pollution reaching unhealthy levels in and around Denver, Fort Collins and Greeley — but skies are expected to clear briefly over the weekend.
The smoke from out-of-state wildfires has circulated in a big loop across the west bringing fine particulates and hazy skies along, said Russell Daniel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Boulder.
The air quality along the Front Range will be poor Thursday and Friday, but a shift in winds Saturday should be a literal breath of fresh air, he said.
“We’re crossing our fingers, but it is still looking good for the weekend,” Danielson said.
The shifting winds should bring in clearer air from the near southwest to the Front Range on Saturday and Sunday, he said, but then the smokey air is expected to move back into the Front Range around Monday.
Through the end of this work week, residents all along the Interstate 25 corridor should consider staying inside if the smoke is thick in their neighborhoods, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Young children or older adults should limit their time outside, as should those with respiratory illnesses.
“Everyone should try to limit their time outdoors if they can,” Danielson said. “This is not the best air to breath for sure. And hopefully they can spend more time outdoors this weekend.”
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