Utah wildfires to blame for haziness in Steamboat, Hayden | SteamboatToday.com

Utah wildfires to blame for haziness in Steamboat, Hayden

Routt County officials attribute the haziness and smell of smoke that people noticed on Thursday to active wildfires in Utah. The smoke is not thick enough to cause health concerns, according to Scott Cowman, the county's environmental health director.
File photo/Dan Tullos

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Several residents in Hayden and Steamboat Springs noted some haziness and the smell of smoke Thursday afternoon.

David “Mo” DeMorat, Routt County’s emergency operations director, attributed the traces of smoke to wildfires in Utah. As of Thursday, three fires were actively burning in the state, according to Utah’s government-operated online wildfire tracker.

Scott Cowman, the county’s environmental health director, could smell smoke as he left for lunch Thursday afternoon. He checked the readings from air quality monitors in Hayden and Craig, which showed elevated levels of particulates in the air from 1 to 2 p.m.

Cowman said the brief spike was not enough to cause any air quality or health concerns. It typically takes about 24 hours of consistently high levels of particulates in the air to cause problems for people with respiratory conditions or other health issues, Cowman said.

The state’s Air Pollution Control Division has been sending out air quality advisories for communities in Central Colorado due to heavy smoke from the Decker Fire just outside Salida. As of Wednesday, that blaze had grown to 8,000 acres, according to an article from NPR.

Wind is blowing smoke from that fire east, meaning it should not impact the Steamboat area.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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