Garfield County particulate levels moderate

Smoke from wildfires in the northwest U.S. apparent on Western Slope

September 5, 2017

UPDATE: September 6: Garfield County continues to be under a Wildfire Smoke Health Advisory. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had forecasted today’s particle pollution levels for Garfield County to be in the ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ category, however, current levels remain at ‘Moderate.’ Tomorrow’s forecast is similar and will be updated as needed. The ‘Moderate’ category on the Air Quality Index (AQI) means that people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution should consider limiting prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

UPDATE: September 5: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment included Garfield and surrounding counties in an air quality health advisory due to wildfire smoke emanating from the northwest U.S. this afternoon:

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Wildfires burning around the northwest United States are causing the air to become hazy with smoke in Colorado. On September 5, all three Garfield County monitoring sites in Carbondale, Rifle, and Battlement Mesa are reading levels in the “moderate” category for particulate matter on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI).

Garfield County Public Health operates an extensive air monitoring network with three locations that collect data on particulate matter, which is a primary component of smoke.

AQI health advisory levels are color-coded and based on regulatory standards for criteria pollutants, which have set thresholds under the Clean Air Act.

If visibility is less than five miles or if air quality becomes listed as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued several wildfire smoke advisories around the state. Garfield County has not been listed among the counties that are currently under an advisory, and residents are encouraged to visit the county’s webpage at to get real-time information on local air quality. The website also contains links to the Colorado Smoke Outlook and other state and national resources.

Residents are often most keenly aware of air quality when it is visibly impacted. However, Garfield County works year-round to collect and report data on a wide variety of air pollutants. Check out the county’s website for annual reports, emissions inventories, and other air quality research.
Air quality