Air Pollution Source: Wildfires
(Wildfire Air Pollution Smoke-filled Grand Valley during 2018 summer of forest fires)
The most severe pollution in our valley so far this year (2018) has been from forest fires. This has been the worst fire season in history in California, and many other western states as well. The atmospheric conditions have blown smoke from the fires into the Grand Valley, and now that we have Purple Air particulate monitors we can see how dangerous these forest fires can be to our air quality.
On August 1, 2018 the Purple Air Monitors throughout the valley were reading 150 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), which is considered hazardous to the health of anyone, not just those with underlying health conditions. There were several days prior and after August 1 when it was recommended by the Mesa County Health Department that people with health conditions stay indoors and avoid outdoor exercise.
Unfortunately, the increase in effects from global warming and a continuing drought in the west means these incidents may become more common in the future. We now have some tools to help the public make decisions about protecting their health and staying indoors to prevent breathing polluted air.