Denver air still not ideal for breathing or seeing

2 min. read
In this 2020 photo, Capitol Hill is hazy as wildfires burned elsewhere in the state. Aug. 19, 2020.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

As if you needed us to tell you and your headache this morning, the air is still bad.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an all-caps ACTION-DAY ALERT Thursday afternoon that stays in effect at least through 4 p.m. Friday. It's bad for kids, the elderly and other sensitive groups.

It affects Denver and basically the whole Front Range:

"Concentrations of both ozone and fine particulate matter are expected to reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category on Thursday and Friday. Elevated levels of ozone and fine particulates are possible throughout the Colorado Front Range region including Colorado Springs, the Denver Metro area, Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, and surrounding areas."


The poor air quality is caused by both smoke (see above U.S. smoke map) and ozone. It feels a lot like last year.

Poor air quality here and across other western states will persist until fire conditions die down. Research shows wildfire activity in the west has worsened due to climate change, which fuels drier conditions, more drought, and longer fire seasons.

You can keep tabs on air quality pretty easily, but Kevin put together a guide on what it all means, if you want to take a more informed look.

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