News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: July 5, 2017

Wildfire Smoke in Summit County

People walking along a recreational pathway. Mountains in the distance are visible, but smoke is in

Light smoke not expected to be significant health concern


Dan Hendershott, Environmental Health Manager: 970-668-4073

Amy Wineland, Public Health Director: 970-9195

SUMMIT COUNTY - Because of wildfire activity in surrounding counties, smoke is visible in Summit County. While smoke levels may increase, especially in low-lying areas or valleys, light smoke is not expected to be a significant health concern.

If wildfire smoke causes visibility to be less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke levels are unhealthy. References of 5-mile visibility are as follows:

  • If you are in downtown Dillon and unable to see Buffalo Mountain
  • If you are in Breckenridge and unable to see Peak 8
  • If you are at the Frisco Marina and unable to see Buffalo Mountain.

If smoke is thick, or becomes thick, in your neighborhood, you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young and the elderly. To mitigate exposure to smoke, public health officials are urging residents and visitors, especially high-risk individuals, to take the following precautions:

  • Limit outdoor activities and remain indoors with windows and doors closed.
  • Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your respiratory membranes moist.
  • Reduce your physical activity to decrease inhalation of airborne pollutants.
  • Reduce activities that increase indoor air pollution, e.g., cigarette smoking, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces, cooking, burning candles or incense and vacuuming. These activities can greatly increase levels of indoor particulate matter.
  • When driving, keep windows & vents closed. Run your air conditioner on recycle or recirculate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
  • If you develop symptoms suggestive of lung or heart problems, including chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue, consult a medical provider as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Summit County Public Health (970-668–9161) or the Environmental Health Department (970-668-4070). Or get statewide air quality information from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at


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