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Denver ranked among the top-5 most-polluted cities in the world Thursday

It was also the second-worst air quality of any major city in the Western Hemisphere, thanks to wildfire smoke from the Northwest and ground ozone.

DENVER — Here's something Denver probably doesn't want to rank among the top-five in globally. 

On Thursday afternoon, Denver's air quality levels hovered around 110, briefly making it the fifth-smoggiest major city in the world. That's based on data from air quality tracking website IQAir

The air quality reading of 110 in Denver on Thursday afternoon also ranked as the second-highest air quality level across the entire Western Hemisphere, trailing only Santiago, Chile.

Smoke from forest fires in the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada moved into Front Range skies on Thursday, combining with ground ozone to turn Denver into one of the world's most polluted cities on Thursday. 

It's all part of what's already been an exceptionally lengthy stretch of Air Quality Alerts for Denver and the Front Range. Thursday marked the 31st consecutive day with an Air Quality Alert for the Front Range.

 

While Denver and the Front Range can expect a brief break from the oppressive smog on Friday, it'll return with a vengeance on Saturday as smoke from forest fires in California arrives, adding to the already filthy skies across the Front Range.

Credit: 9NEWS

In addition to the forest fire smoke, temperatures rising well into the 90s this weekend will help create more ground ozone and continue to pollute the surface. 

In other words, the smoggy skies likely won't dissipate anytime soon, and Denver will probably continue to rank among the world's most polluted cities in the meantime. 

RELATED: Denver smashes 145-year record high, clinches another 100° day

RELATED: Smoke from 900 miles away can still be harmful to human health

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