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Denver’s air quality could improve by weekend if California wildfire smoke clears out

No, you didn’t read that wrong. California wildfire smoke is contributing to the pollution.

DENVER, Colorado — Colorado’s large wildfires have put out plenty of smoke that combined with high ozone have filled the air with particulates burning eyes and making it harder to breathe. 

At the same time, major wildfires in California have led to smoke pushing east, exacerbating the problem.

It led to another “action day alert” from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday. Air quality reached the red “unhealthy” zone, signifying that even healthy people could feel the effects of the smoky air.

RELATED: How to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

“A lot of the smoke we have around the state right now is kind of remnant smoke from the California fires over the weekend and some of the Colorado fires as well. It's taking a while to mix that smoke out of the atmosphere,” said Scott Landes, chief air quality meteorologist for the state. “It's probably going to take a couple more days. We do have an air mass change coming on in late in the week.”

Landes said there’s less smoke coming off Colorado’s wildfires too, so he advises continuing to check on those air quality reports.

RELATED: Computer model forecasts where wildfire smoke is moving

“I think what most would notice is a decreased ability to exert because of the pollution symptoms of sore throat, cough, nasopharyngeal symptoms and you know prolonged exposure to even higher levels can potentially have some longer-term health implications,” said Dr. Todd Bull, Director of the Lung and Breathing Center at UCHealth.

Of course, those with underlying cardiovascular conditions are at greatest risk of complications from the increased pollution. But Dr. Bull says everyone should avoid overexerting, much to the dismay of countless Coloradoans who want to recreate.

RELATED: Here are all the wildfires burning across Colorado

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