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Hazy skies over Colorado: This is where the smoke is coming from

The Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff, Arizona, ignited Sunday, and smoke from the fire is creating hazy skies over Colorado, including in the Denver metro area.

COLORADO, USA — The skies over Colorado were hazy and smoky Monday morning because of a wildfire in Arizona.

Smoke from the Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff, Arizona, which ignited Sunday, was drifting over Colorado, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

NWS Boulder said at 9:14 a.m. that most of the smoke was elevated high in the sky and was not near the surface except in the high country. The smoke could mix in with air closer to the ground due to increased surface concentrations later in the day as the heat increases.

The smoke was creating a brown cloud of haze over the Denver metro area, and 9NEWS meteorologist Chris Bianchi said the smoke will reduce air quality.

An Ozone Action Day Alert was issued for the entire Front Range, including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Greeley for Monday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Alert runs until midnight tonight.

The smoky weather should improve later tonight, though, when a cold front arrives from the northwest. That'll usher in a northwesterly wind direction, pushing most of the smoke into New Mexico and Kansas.

In areas where smoke is apparent, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion, CDPHE said. 

The Pipeline Fire has burned 4,000 to 5,000 acres as of Monday morning. A 57-year-old-man was arrested for violating the county's burn ban around the time the wildfire broke out, according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

RELATED: Person arrested in connection to Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff as blaze scorches nearly 5,000 acres

Multiple local fire agencies have posted on social media that they were receiving calls about the smoke, but none reported any new wildfires Monday.

A map of active wildfires can be found on the Incident Information System website.

While the smoke was not coming from any fires in Colorado, the fire danger was extremely high Monday.

The NWS said very hot, dry and windy weather will increase fire concerns and advised residents to avoid burning or activities that could create sparks.

RELATED: Denver's ozone status could move to 'severe': What would that mean?

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RELATED: Denver hits 100 degrees for 1st time in 2022

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