Summit County Government

Posted on: October 8, 2016

Wildfire Smoke Not Expected to Be Major Health Concern

Due to wildfire activity, smoke levels may persist overnight, especially in low-lying areas or valleys. However, the light smoke is not expected to be a significant health concern.


Amy Wineland, Public Health Director

SUMMIT COUNTY - The Frey Gulch Fire above the Summit County Landfill may cause smoke levels to persist overnight, especially in low-lying areas or valleys, according to Summit County Public Health. However, the light smoke is not expected to be a significant health concern.

Smoke levels are deemed unhealthy in a given area if visibility is less than 5 miles. References of 5-mile visibility impairments indicating unhealthy air include the following:

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

If smoke does become 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.

In any areas with thick smoke, Public Health officials recommend that residents and visitors, especially high-risk individuals, take the following precautions:

  • Limit outdoor activities and remain indoors with the 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 the inhalation of airborne pollutants.
  • Reduce activities that increase indoor air pollution, e.g., cigarette smoking, propane and/or wood burning stoves or furnaces, cooking, burning candlesor incense and vacuuming, all of which can substantially increase indoor particulate matter.
  • When driving, keep windows & vents closed. Run your air conditioner on recycle or re-circulate 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 at 970-668–9161, or the Environmental Health Department 970-668-4070, or visit Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Colorado Smoke Outlook.


Colorado Smoke Outlook
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