WeatherWeather Science


When will smoke from Canada wildfires dissipate around Colorado?

Despite poor visibility, experts say the air quality is good to moderate on Monday
Posted at 1:35 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 15:35:50-04

COLORADO — After a hazy weekend around Colorado, you may be wondering when the smoke from Canada wildfires will begin to fade away from the southern Rocky Mountains.

The air quality was poor over the weekend and visibility was low around the urban corridor.

So, when will it go away? The good news is we'll get some relief later this week. But we have a couple more smoky days ahead of us.

Up north, wildfires in western Canada are still burning and sending smoke south, but no air quality alerts were in place across Colorado as of 10:45 a.m. Monday. More than one million acres have already burned in Canada with almost 30,000 people forced to evacuate, according to NOAA. Alberta has been hit the hardest with 83 wildfires currently burning.

The Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew from Colorado is currently helping battle these wildfires.

In Colorado, smoke from these fires is mostly affecting northern and eastern parts of the state.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said on Monday morning that despite these hazy conditions, ozone concentrations were in the good to moderate range and fine particulate matter concentrations were in the moderate category.

This means that unusually sensitive people may experience respiratory issues and should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion, especially outside.

Air quality is the worst over the eastern plains, according to the NWS.

Visibility is also poor, the CDPHE said, but there are no air pollution advisories in effect until at least 4 p.m. Monday, if at all.

According to a smoke map from, other states are seeing worse impacts than Colorado. The heaviest smoke from the Canada fires is covering eastern Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Nebraska, and is drifting farther east to also impact much of Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Here in Colorado, by Tuesday morning, skies will be partly cloudy or mostly clear, but hazy skies will return in the afternoon.

The middle and end of the week will be a bit stormy, which will help dissipate some of the smoke.

On Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms will become more prevalent and some storms may become severe over the eastern plains by Thursday and Friday. These storms are expected to bring improved air quality.


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