Thick smoke prompts open flame ban in Alpine |

Thick smoke prompts open flame ban in Alpine

All outdoor fires, including campfires, bonfires, pit fires, charcoal fires, or any other open flame fires were banned on all private lands throughout Alpine County.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the visitor population in Alpine County has swelled to unprecedented levels as folks attempt to flee to the mountains as a ‘safe haven’ and escape from increased COVID risk in other jurisdictions,” Alpine Public Health Officer Richard Johnson said on Thursday. “As a consequence, EMS, fire, and law enforcement calls have stretched staff to the limits of our local capability. Therefore, in light of this increased visitor population, the lack of additional EMS, enforcement and firefighting resources, closure of all national forest areas, and extreme fire danger, I find it necessary to order this restriction on open fires in order to further reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires within Alpine County, and the consequent adverse effects on our resources and resident and visitor population.”

A dense smoke advisory has been revised to include all of today through 5 p.m. Friday.

Air quality in Woodfords was up to very unhealthy levels with a reading of 210 at 11 a.m.

As of 11 a.m. the air quality monitor in Ranchos Aspen Park was reporting unhealthy levels of smoke at 159 that has been increasing through the morning.

Alpine County canceled its community coronavirus testing in Woodfords today.

Forecasters are asking residents to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present.

“Avoid strenuous activity, especially if you are sensitive to poor air quality, such as the elderly, children and anyone with chronic illness or respiratory problems. Consider postponing outdoor activities. Check for the latest air quality information.”