Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NO MAJOR FIRES IN LA PLATA COUNTY AT THIS TIME. Smoke is coming in from surrounding states and counties

La Plata County does not have any fires of note at this time. Southeast Utah, Northern Arizona and New Mexico all have active fires that are contributing to the smoke. Fires in Mineral County near Wolf Creek Pass are also contributing to the smoke in our area.
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE has not issued any health advisories for our area today. The CDPHE wildfire page gives instructions on how to tell the air quality: the scale is shown below.

Air quality meteorologists at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are using a system included in the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's Wildfire Natural Events Action Plan that is designed to address, among other things, public awareness of fire risks, including smoke. You can use it too to help you categorize the risk from smoke where you are. The system enables air quality meteorologists to take both hourly pollution readings from air quality monitors (where available) and visible air quality and assign a risk category using the U.S. EPA's Air Quality Index Scale (AQI). In most cases, residents can use the visibility column to assess air quality in their areas. The table below shows how the system is applied:
Air Quality Category
24-Hr PM2.5
1-Hr PM2.5
Good0.0 - 22.00.0 - 40.010 or more miles
Moderate15.5 - 40.440.1 - 80.05-10 miles
Sensitive Groups40.5 - 65.480.1 - 175.03-5 miles
Unhealthy65.5 - 150.4175.0 - 300.01.5 - 3 miles
Very Unhealthy150.5 - 250.4300.1 - 500.01. - 1.5 miles
Hazardous≥250.5≥500.1≤1 mile
AQI Key:
Good: 0-50
Moderate: 51-100
Unhealthy (for Sensitive Groups): 101-150
Unhealthy: 151-200
Very Unhealthy: 201-250
Hazardous: 251-300

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