Beautiful sunset viewed from Inspiration Point Park in Denver Photo Credit: Faina Gurevich (iStock).

File photo. Photo Credit: Faina Gurevich (iStock).

Much of Colorado has been placed under an air quality health advisory by the National Weather Service on Wednesday until 9 PM. Here's why.

According to the National Weather Service, strong winds will be blowing dust, limiting visibility and resulting in fine particulates going airborne. These gusty conditions are expected to keep blowing dust throughout the morning and afternoon, tapering off into the evening.

The eastern half of the state, particularly the southeast region, is also being impacted by smoke that's traveling into Colorado from fires in New Mexico. While a couple fires have sparked in Colorado in recent days, these have been put out fairly quickly and the smoke seen by Coloradans is coming into the state from elsewhere.

Map Credit:

A look at the AirNow smoke map, as of about 9:15 AM. Map Credit:

According to the National Weather Service, "people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion."

In terms of exactly where the air quality alert is underway, it currently spans a wide area of the state that includes Colorado Springs, Pueblo, much of the southeast portion of the state, the San Luis Valley, and the southwest, near Telluride and beyond. Much of the Eastern Plains region is also impacted. The central mountains, northern mountains, and northwest area don't seem to be impacted at this time, though that is subject to change. Denver is also left off of the air advisory list, for now. See more specifics and updates regarding where is included in this alert here.

Along with the gusty winds that are blowing dust comes another dangerous fire day in Colorado. Red flag warnings span much of the eastern half and southern portions of the state. Red flag warning areas are shown as 'pink' on the National Weather Service map found here.

Follow the National Weather Service and the AirNow map for additional updates.

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(1) comment

Wilderness Mike

I'm in Montrose and I just went outside to see how the visibility is here. I looked toward Grand Mesa, but I can't see a danged thing up there.

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