Current Air Quality Index (AQI)
Last updated: Nov-28-2023 09:00 MST
Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Particulate Matter - PM2.5
Particulate Matter - PM10
Air Quality Index - 24 Hour History
Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
Particulate Matter (PM10)
Air Quality Monitoring#
There are many methods to assess the quality of the air we share including our very own eyes and noses to highly technical monitoring equipment including satellites. How clean our air is can be expressed in terms of visibility, as the Air Quality Index, and in concentrations of various pollutants of concern.
Below, are some options for exploring air quality monitoring, mapping, and ways to engage in the local air quality monitoring network.
Local Air Quality Monitoring Map
Find out where Fort Collins monitors are located and view the current air quality measurements from those monitors.
Visibility Web Cams
Digital images supplement the City’s air quality monitoring efforts. Images are updated every 15 minutes providing real-time visibility conditions to help you make informed decisions. For example, if air quality is poor, the visibility of local landmarks along the horizon is greatly reduced.
Fire & Smoke Map
Explore the interactive map from Airnow.gov to see the current location and status of fires across the U.S., and the smoke plumes associated with those fires.
Gardens on Spring Creek Ozone Bench
Take a look at the ozone and particulate matter measurements for the past week recorded at the Ozone Bench monitoring station at the Gardens on Spring Creek.
"Low-Cost" Air Quality Monitoring Network
View the growing network of privately and publicly owned "low-cost" particulate matter monitors in Fort Collins and the world. Purchase your own air quality monitor from PurpleAir.com to join the crowd-sourced science community in tracking air quality.
Colorado Air Quality Forecasts & Advisories
Take a look at the front range air quality forecast and Colorado smoke outlook from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Protective Pollution Prevention Strategies
Get informed and learn how to protect yourself from wildland fire smoke.
Frequently Asked Questions#
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standard set by the EPA for reporting air quality of five major pollutants that are regulated by the Clean Air Act. These pollutants are: Ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
More information about the Air Quality Index can be found here.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little or no potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents air quality so hazardous that everyone may experience serious effects.
An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant, which is the level EPA has set to protect public health. AQI values at or below 100 are generally thought of as satisfactory. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy—at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values increase.
A complete writeup on the Air Quality Index can be found here.
Ozone (O3) is a gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. Ozone occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be good or bad, depending on where it is found.
Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant, because of its effects on people and the environment, and it is the main ingredient in “smog."
More complete information about ground level ozone can be found here.
Particulate Matter, commonly referred to as PM, is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
More information about the sources of PM and the health effects can be found here.
An Action Day for fine particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), or other pollutants indicates that either current air quality is unhealthy or conditions are expected to worsen later in the day.
More information here.
There are many ways that you can help to reduce air pollution. Some tips include:
- Conserve energy at home and work
- Carpool, bike, or walk whenever possible
- Keep engines properly tuned and tires properly inflated
- Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products
- Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste
- Avoid gas powered lawn and garden equipment
More ideas can be found here.
When AQI levels are hazardous, reduce activity levels to reduce the amount of particulates that you breathe into your lungs, and stay indoors in a room or building with filtered air.
A complete description of steps you should take, especially for at-risk groups, can be found here.