Grand Junction, CO – The wildfires igniting all over Colorado and nearby states, like the Dragon Fire south of Rangely, Colorado and the Pack Canyon Fire near Moab, Utah, have been throwing out more than just flames. The fires are producing particles in the air that can make it difficult to breathe. Tourists visiting Grand Junction are witnessing just why Colorado calls this time of year ‘wildfire season,’ “We can’t see it in the distance, it’s very hazy,” says visitor Eugene Modzelewski.
However, the haziness in the sky isn’t the only concern for those walking around outside. Those with respiratory ailments such as asthma or COVID-19, are being advised to take extra precautions during wildfire season. Public health officials say those more vulnerable to breathing problems should avoid going outside if they can.
“People with breathing issues like asthma, COPD, Emphezema, that kind of thing, can be unduly affected by the smoke from wildfires,” says Mesa County Public Health’s Thomas Orr. He says indoor air conditions tend to be better, and advises those at higher risk to avoid lighting candles, vacuuming, and using lawn-care tools that may stir up dust.
While Western Colorado has elevated droughts, it is likely that these will be the first of several wildfires this Summer, “It’s likely to be wildfire season, and we may see smoke off and on all Summer,” continues Orr.
With that in mind, be cautious when you are spending time outdoors during wildfire season, especially if you are susceptible to respiratory ailments. To keep an eye on air conditions in Mesa County, you can check the ‘Purple Air Monitor’ on Mesa County Public Health’s website at Air Quality Conditions | Mesa County Public Health for frequent updates.