BAYFIELD – Smoke drifted through Bayfield on Wednesday morning, impacting air quality and visibility for residents, but did not result in an air-quality advisory from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
An air-quality monitor on the Upper Pine Fire Protection District station in Bayfield showed worsening air quality as the smoke moved through town. Around 10:45 a.m., the monitor score was at 93. Twenty minutes later, it was at 173, with 500 being the worst air-quality score. Air quality improved after that.
General wind flow is from the west to the east, and smoke should flow in that direction over the course of the day, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
After speaking with fire districts, the National Weather Service in Grand Junction and Durango Interagency Dispatch, it was unclear where the smoke was coming from. However, Roy Vreeland, deputy chief of Upper Pine, said it could be residual smoke from Tuesday’s fire near Aspen Trails subdivision northeast of Durango.
“It could have been the nighttime inversion from our fire,” Vreeland said, which is when smoke in the atmosphere drops to the ground as a result of lower temperatures.
The fire started at the bottom of a hill on the north side of Florida Road, destroyed two cabins and spread into nearby trees. Upper Pine posted on Facebook that it would take two days to fully douse the blaze, but Vreeland said the fire was not putting up significant smoke Wednesday morning.
Durango dispatch said it had no reports of other fires in the area Wednesday. The Columbine Ranger District has been conducting a prescribed burn east of town for several weeks, but said it has not received reports of smoke coming into town from those burns.