DENVER – The entire state of Colorado is under air quality health advisories for wildfire smoke until at least Tuesday morning after a weekend in which Denver’s air quality was among the worst in major cities across the world.
The Air Quality Index in Denver topped 140 around noon but had fallen to 115 by 4 p.m. Monday. It reached 180 on Saturday and went over 170 on Sunday as smoke from the Dixie Fire in California and other fires burning across the West moved across the state.
The smoke is expected to persist through Monday and into Tuesday morning, especially in valleys, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. The air quality health advisories are currently in effect until 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present,” the NWS said. “Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.”
Denver tied a record high of 98 degrees Monday set last year. The heat is expected to stay for the next couple days before cooling off at the end of the week, when showers are possible.
On the Western Slope, the smoke is expected to spread southward Tuesday and spread through the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
“The flow detaches slightly from the main plume out west later Tuesday which will help decrease the amount of particulate that can be brought into the area but what smoke we have will linger due to nothing to flush it out of the area,” the NWS said. “Expect smoky conditions for the next several days.”
The National Weather Service in Boulder said the jet stream will move north of the state by mid-week, which could help clear out some of the smoke even as the Dixie Fire continues to grow.