News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: June 23, 2021

Wildfire Smoke Impacting Summit County Air Quality

Smoke hangs over the Tenmile Range

Smoke may pose health concerns for certain individuals

Contact: Adam Kisiel, Public Affairs Coordinator

SUMMIT COUNTY –  Summit County air quality is being impacted due to wildfire activity in surrounding areas, including the Muddy Slide wildfire in southern Routt County, the Sylvan wildfire in Eagle County, along with several other in-state and out-of-state wildfires. These fires may continue to impact the area Wednesday through Thursday morning.  The heaviest smoke impacts will likely occur during the overnight and early morning hours in valley locations and in areas in close vicinity to the local wildfires.

Anyone experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, should immediately call 911.

Public Health Wildfire Smoke Recommendations: If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood, you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. 

References of 5-mile visibility are as follows:

  • If you are in downtown Dillon or Frisco and unable to see Buffalo Mountain
  • If you are in Breckenridge and unable to see the mountain tops above the ski area.

To mitigate smoke exposure, public health officials recommend that residents and visitors, especially sensitive individuals, take the following precautions:

  • Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. It’s OK to be active outside, but take more breaks and do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.
  • Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your respiratory membranes moist.
  • If you develop symptoms suggestive of lung or heart problems, including chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue, consult a medical provider as soon as possible. 
  • Create a “clean air” room in your home by closing windows / doors and running an air filtering unit such as a portable HEPA filter or a DIY box fan filter system.

“We are experiencing wildfires and the smoke they produce more frequently here in Summit County.  Because smoke particles can cause undesirable health effects, it is important to be aware of the air quality, the risks associated with poor air quality and take steps to minimize the effects," said Environmental Health Manager Dan Hendershott. 

For more information describing wildfire smoke and protective measures, visit the Summit County Public Health wildfire smoke page and/or the EPA website.

Real time local air quality information is available at the Purple Air site.

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El humo de los incendios forestales afecta la calidad del aire del Condado de Summit

El humo puede causar problemas de salud para ciertas personas

Contacto: Adam Kisiel, Coordinadora de Asuntos Públicos, Salud Pública del Condado de Summit

CONDADO DE SUMMIT – La calidad del aire en el Condado de Summit se ha visto afectada por la actividad de los incendios forestales en las áreas circundantes, incluidas a Muddy Slide en el condado de Routt, y Sylvan wildfire en el condado de Eagle y hay humo a nivel local. Estos incendios pueden seguir afectando el área de miércoles hasta a jueves por la mañana. Los impactos de humo más pesados probablemente ocurrirán durante la noche y las primeras horas de la mañana en lugares del valle y en áreas cercanas a los incendios forestales locales.

Cualquier persona que experimente síntomas graves, como dificultad para respirar o dolor en el pecho, debe llamar de inmediato al 911.

Recomendaciones de el Departamento de Salud Pública sobre el humo de incendios forestales: si el humo es denso o se vuelve espeso en su vecindario, es posible que desee permanecer en el interior. Esto es especialmente cierto para las personas con enfermedades cardíacas, enfermedades respiratorias, los muy jóvenes y los ancianos. Debe considerar en reducir la actividad en al aire libre cuando hay humo de moderado a denso. Debe considerar la posibilidad de mudarse temporalmente si hay humo en el interior y lo está enfermando. Si la visibilidad es de menos de 5 millas en su vecindario, el humo ha alcanzado niveles que no son saludables.

Las referencias de visibilidad de 5 millas son las siguientes:

  • Si se encuentra en el centro de Dillon o Frisco y no puede ver Buffalo Mountain.
  • Si se encuentra en Breckenridge y no puede ver las cimas de las montañas sobre la zona de esquíar.

Para mitigar la exposición al humo, los funcionarios de salud pública recomiendan que los residentes y visitantes, especialmente las personas susceptibles, tomen las siguientes precauciones:

  • Debe reducir el esfuerzo prolongado o intenso. Está bien estar activo al aire libre, pero tome más descansos y realice actividades menos intensas. Esté atento a síntomas como tos o dificultad para respirar.
  • Concidera reubicarse temporalmente si hay humo en el interior y lo enferma.
  • Beba muchos líquidos para mantener húmedas las membranas respiratorias.       
  • Si presenta síntomas que sugieran problemas pulmonares o cardíacos, como dolor u opresión en el pecho, dificultad para respirar o fatiga extrema, consulte a un proveedor médico lo antes posible.

“Si bien las máscaras de tela ayudan a proteger contra la propagación de las gotitas respiratorias que transmiten COVID-19, no lo protegen de los efectos dañinos de las partículas de humo de los incendios forestales, que pueden viajar a través de la tela que cubre la cara,” dijo el Gerente de Salud Ambiental Dan Hendershott. “Todos debemos estar atentos y seguir medidas preventivas para evitar la exposición al humo.”

La información local sobre la calidad del aire está disponible en Summit County Government wildfire smoke page.

La información de la calidad del aire local en tiempo real está disponible en el sitio de Purple Air.

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