DENVER – If you’ve wandered out into our state parks or walked around the city, you may be noticing a light haze occasionally here and there. So, what’s going on?
While fire season hasn’t really made big headlines here in Colorado, wildfires are springing up across several western states in the U.S., somewhat affecting visibility for us here at home.
The Brian Head Fire in Utah, currently at more than 54,000 acres in size, is the big culprit creating the smoke that is traveling eastward into Colorado, according to the most recent Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Quality report.
Officials said the smoke is having little effect on ground-level public health, but unusually sensitive people should remain indoors as much as possible.
Here are some of the biggest wildfires currently burning across several states this week:
Goodwin Fire: This 20,644-acre wildfire is burning in the Prescott National Forest. There’s a total of 654 personnel working to put out the blaze, which started on Saturday, June 4 at around 4 p.m. The fire is 1 percent contained.
Fry Fire: This 38,500-acre wildfire is burning in the north and south side of Mt. Graham. More than 800 personnel are working to put out this fire, which started on June 7. It is 43 percent contained.
Holcomb Fire: The 1,503-acre fire is burning northeast of Big Bear City, located east of Los Angles. A total of 132 firefighters are working to put out these flames. The fire is 95 percent contained.
Hill Fire: The 1,598-acre Hill Fire wildfire is burning about 200 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The fire was 60 percent contained as of Tuesday night, according to CNN. That fire destroyed the home of Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki.
412 Fire: The 412 Fire is burning in the Ryman Creek area of the Dolores Ranger District about seven miles south of Rico near the San Juan National Forest. It is five acres in size and has about 65 personnel working to contain the flames.
Red Springs Fire: The 4,600-acre wildfire burning northwest of Jiggs is 99 percent contained. The blaze started on Tuesday, June 20. Approximately 70 firefighters are working to contain it.
Corral Fire: The 19,850-acre Corral Fire is burning two miles south of Diamond Creek. Twenty-one firefighters are battling the blaze.
Brian Head Fire: The 54,202-acre wildfire is the main driver that’s pushing smoke to Colorado. About 1,605 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is 10 percent contained.
Spartan Fire: The 23,500-acre fire is located about 20 miles south of Wenatchee, Washington. A total of 360 firefighters are working to put out the blaze.
If you’d like to see a full list of wildfires currently burning across the United States, click here.
Public health recommendations for areas affected by smoke
If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood, you are advised to remain indoors, especially if you have heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young and the elderly.
Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
If visibility is less than five miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy, CPDE officials say.