Wildfire Haze

A wet spring and early summer has, so far this year, protected Colorado from wildfires.  Nevertheless, some 95 wildfires are burning across the drought-plagued West (especially in the Pacific Northwest) and the smoke from those fires has invaded the Front Range of Colorado.

Reminiscent of the "brown cloud" inversions of past decades, the wildfire haze is obscuring visibility across the urban corridor, triggering respiratory symptoms in susceptible individuals, inducing eye irritation and almost eliminating views of the mountains to our west.  Light winds and overlying high pressure are limiting diffusion of the smoke and exacerbating the air pollution.

While we humans make efforts to improve air quality, we remain at the mercy of natural events, such as volcanic eruptions and wildfires, that inject particulates into the atmosphere.  In many cases, our only recourse is to remain indoors or, if medically indicated, wear protective masks until a weather front sweeps the polluted air out of our region.  In the meantime, we can enjoy spectacular sunrises and sunsets, colored by the smoky haze.