Smoke from West Fork fires settles over Montezuma Valley

Keywords: Fire,

Heavy smoke in Montezuma County Friday morning is from the West Fork Complex if fires near Wolf Creek Pass, according to the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and the National Weather Service.

The sheriff’s office has requested that local smoke only be reported to Cortez Dispatch if an individual sees flames or a smoke plume rising.

Heavy atmospheric smoke is a health hazard for many people, including children and the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with breathing disorders such as asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some people may need to consider seeking out buildings where air is filtered or leaving the area until the smoke abates.

Windows should be closed tightly. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends staying inside during conditions such as today’s, and filtering air through an air conditioner or evaporative cooler and/or HEPA air filtration units. Some home heating units may allow for air to be filtered on the fan setting with the heating element off.

For more information about wildfire smoke, visit CDPHE’s webpage at