Smoking Skies

Colorado skies have become hazy throughout the past few months, causing for alerts to be sent out by the CPDE advising people to be safe outside.

by Abigail Wood, Reporter

In the past two years,  Colorado has seen an increase of yearly fires throughout the United States, and last year, Colorado recorded the highest amount of forest fires according to Nasa.gov. “The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing in our forests this year is historic,” Colorado Forest Supervisor, Monte Williams said. This year it’s a different story. 

Photo Provided by Claire Bauer ’24

The skies of Colorado have been hazy these past few weeks. What’s the cause of this? It’s forest fires. 

Who’s to blame for our hazy weather and bad air quality? The Coloradoan wrote a story and stated that the fires are originating from Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico.

“I’ve noticed the difference of the skies some days it will be sunny and blue, then days later it will be hazy and covers the entire sky, Maddie Leonardi ‘24 said.

The Telegraph and Mescal fires burning north of Tucson and southeast of Phoenix have burned more than 140,000 acres combined,” Interagency Incident Information Center (IIIC) said.

The air quality is currently a risk for the people of Colorado. For example, the difference in air quality compared to last year with the fires compared to this year, people can see that even though Colorado may not be on fire, the air quality is worse than the air quality last year. (CDPHE – Colorado.gov/AirQuality

Screenshot From CDPHE

Due to the hazy skies in Colorado right now, the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) has put out three air quality advisories for three different regions in the Colorado area advising them to be careful if they are elderly, have respiratory issues, heart issues, or have very young children.

Evan Chaulk ‘24 plays lacrosse in his free time running around in the smoke and said he could almost feel the smoke affecting him “When I run around outside playing lacrosse I feel like it’s hard to breathe some days when I’m outside doing my activities,” Chaulk said. 

“The heavy smoke and air quality that has affected Colorado over the past several weeks has decreased significantly. However, light to moderate concentrations of smoke does linger in many areas. Additionally, residual health impacts may linger due to prolonged exposure to elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion on Friday statewide,” according to Colorado Smoke outlook as of Sept. 8 at 8:00 a.m.

To find more information on the Air quality and smoke in Colorado visit the CDPE website.

CDPHE – Colorado.gov/AirQuality 

Record-Setting Fires in Colorado and California (nasa.gov)