Smoke, Haze Coming From Wyoming Wildfires

Smoke Health Advisory Issued

The heavy smoke and haze you may be seeing or smelling is not from a new wildfire burning in Colorado.

They are coming from wildfires in Wyoming, according to our 24/7 Weather Center.

Some of the smoke is coming from a 9,000-acre wildfire burning southwest of Laramie, Wyo.

The Squirrel Creek Fire is burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest and is 30 percent contained.

The fire started June 30, but because of the wind shift and incoming storm front, the smoke is drifting directly over Colorado.

There's also a 93,505-acre fire further north, 28 miles northwest of Wheatland, Wyo. The Arapaho Fire in Laramie Peak is 25 percent contained.

"Our winds are coming out of the north so it's pulling in the smoke from these wildfires in Wyoming," said 7NEWS Meteorologist Maureen McCann.

7NEWS has received calls from all over the metro area and from northern and eastern Colorado with people reporting that they were seeing and smelling the heavy smoke.

"If you do have underlying respiratory issues, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma any kind of additional irritants in the smoke in the air -- chemicals, things like that, may exacerbate your symptoms," said Dr. David Avner, Skyridge Medical Center Emergency Department.

Public Health Department Issues Air Advisory

Because of the smoke, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council have issued an Action Day Alert for the Front Range Urban Corridor from El Paso County north to Larimer and Weld counties, including the Denver-Boulder area, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Greeley.

A Wildfire Smoke Health Advisory has been issued for the Front Range Urban corridor from Colorado Springs northward to Fort Collins and Greeley until at least 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"A weak cool front has bought moderate to heavy smoke in from Wyoming. This smoke will cause fine particulate concentrations to reach moderate to unhealthy-for-sensitive-groups concentrations across much of northeastern Colorado on Wednesday afternoon and evening," according to the Colorado Department of Public Health website.

Active children and adults, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion on Wednesday afternoon and evening, CDPHE advised.

If visibility is less than 5 miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.

Squirrel Creek Fire, Arapaho Fire Causing Smoke

The Squirrel Creek Fire has prompted mandatory evacuations for the Lake Owen and Dry Park vicinity. The fire is moving in an "unpredictable fashion," according to Inciweb.org. A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for the area within a 4-mile radius around Albany, Wyo. Those residents should prepare to evacuate on minutes' notice.

More than 600 firefighters are working on the Arapahoe Fire. Some structures have been destroyed but the area is still too dangerous to allow a detailed assessment. Structure protection groups remain in place 24 hours a day.

About 5 helicopters continue to assist on the fire as the weather and winds allow. The sheriff's office has issued evacuations for Laramie Peak Ranch, Cottonwood Park, Friend Park, North Laramie Trailhead, and Harris Park. The community of Esterbrook is not included in the evacuations at this time.

The Arapahoe Fire started on June 27. The cause is still under investigation.

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