Get Ready For The World’s Worst Air

SATURDAY PM UPDATE: Mission accomplished, says CBS4 Denver:

The website, which tracks air quality for major cities around the world, listed Denver as the most polluted on the planet as of early Saturday afternoon. The AQI was listed as 162. Rounding out the top five list was Salt Lake City, Utah.

On the upside, you’re already supposed to be wearing a face mask.


Sorry folks, we’re just the messenger:

FOX 13 Salt Lake City reporting on behalf of our divinely undergarbed neighbors to the west:

Because of current smoke conditions, northern Utah has the worst air quality on the planet, according to IQAir, a website that monitors pollution levels around the world.

A thick haze fell on northern Utah Friday morning as winds shifted and brought in wildfire smoke from Oregon and northern California. The air quality is as bad as the worst inversion conditions found during the winter in northern Utah.

Salt Lake City and Denver, which is also being affected by out-of-state smoke, are the only two U.S. cities ranked among the top 20 most polluted areas.

The Front Range of Colorado is enjoying a slight reprieve today from the nasty air we’ve seen much of the week month summer, but the forecast for Saturday is nothing short of dismal–air quality bad enough to make outdoor activity uncomfortable even for healthy people as the smoke choking out Utah flows into Colorado. The smoke from another season of massive Western fires is bad enough, but keep in mind it’s the ground-level ozone pollution from cars and fossil fuel production giving these smoky summer afternoons an extra-special burn.

Welcome to the “new normal” in a world where human-caused climate change is now set to at least some degree take its course, after years of inadequate response to a problem we knew was building right before our eyes–but if we could mitigate the damage with better choices going forward it would be nice. Colorado may not be directly threatened by rising sea levels, but the prospect of inhaling the smoke from the Western U.S. burning to ash in the coming decades is…unappealing.

For today, all you can do is adjust your weekend plans accordingly.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Remember folks, Trump digs coal!

  2. Duke Cox says:

    The air is bad here in western Garfield County this morning…really bad. Just a small effort outside is tough.

    Best stay indoors if you can.

  3. JeffcoBlue says:

    Skies were briefly blue at about 7AM. Now it's all grayish white with brown stuff moving in from the north.

    I'm staying inside today.

  4. kwtree says:

    My grandkids ( 2 and 5 months) both have hacking chest coughs. 

  5. gertie97 says:

    We got home late yesterday after an epic road trip to Montana and Yellowstone for family activities and touring. Included was a full day at the Museum of the West in Cody, which is not to be missed.

    Smoke was terrible everywhere from the California and Oregon fires with a couple of smaller (so far) Montana blazes thrown in. It lightened up some in the mornings occasionally. At a canyon overlook in Yellowstone, I overheard one of our fellow Americans wonder why they didn't use fire extinguishers on the fires. His companion thought sprinklers would work better. Oh, my country.


  6. Meiner49er says:

    A "Late Lament" seems appropriate today: 

    Breathe deep the gathering gloom
    Watch lights fade from every room
    Bedsitter people look back and lament
    Another day's useless energy is spent

    Cue Moody Blues.

  7. Gilpin Guy says:

    This shit isn't just wood smoke.  It includes incinerated hummingbird wings, grasshoppers, bear intestines, tires, propane, arsenic and a whole witches brew of toxic chemicals.  The rocks that are melted yield all kinds of heavy particulates into the atmosphere.  In Hawaii, they call what's spewed from the volcanoes 'Vog'.  In Gilpin, we can't even see the Continental Divide from ten miles away.  It's awful stuff that you don't want to be swimming in.

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