Thu August 9, 2012

Colorado's Hazy Orange Sunsets Will Continue... For Now

No fires are burning in Colorado – but this week’s hazy and smoky skies along the Front Range are from dozens of wildfires burning across the west.

Smoke from the Pacific Northwest as well as Idaho and Montana is being slowly drawn into Colorado because of a ridge of high pressure. Kyle Fredin with the National Weather Service in Boulder says to expect the haze to stick around for the next few days.

“This ridge is going to continue to stay so we can expect the hazy smoky conditions along with the peach and orange sunrises and sunsets probably through Saturday morning.”

After that Fredin says a low pressure system from the Pacific coast will make its way across Colorado, which should bring in cleaner air from California and Nevada.

[View the story "Hazy Colorado Sunsets" on Storify]

And while the sunrises and sunsets may be beautiful, the air quality that's causing them is not. The Colorado Department of Health has issued an Ozone Action Day through 4 p.m. Thursday for the entire Front Range Urban Corridor from El Paso County north to Larimer and Weld counties.

Expect the air to be unhealthy for unusually sensitive people. The alert says "Respiratory symptoms possible in unusually sensitive individuals, possible aggravation of heart or lung disease in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion."

The department adds that if visibility is less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.