Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Air quality directly affects the health and wellness of our community.  Mesa County Public Health monitors air quality so we can notify the community when there are concerns. Air Quality Awareness Week is a time to highlight the importance of protecting air quality, tips for planning outdoor activities, and the overall importance of clean air.


Tools to Monitor Air Quality

Our Environmental Health team uses local data to help inform the community about current air quality conditions and any changes that are expected. We rely on data from the National Weather Service and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as sensors that volunteers place at their homes or businesses to measure pollutants in the air. The Purple Air Sensor Map on our website shows air quality at different locations in the Grand Valley using those sensors. Residents can also check out the air quality camera snapshots showing visibility conditions. 

You can also:


What Residents Can Do

Check  air quality when you’re planning an outdoor activity. Visit our Air Quality webpage. You’ll see in the upper right corner what the Air Quality Index (AQI) is for our area.

There are several levels of the Air Quality Index (AQI). Most days in Mesa County the AQI is in the ‘Good’ range. It means air quality is safe for being outside. 

We can all help improve air quality as a community with small actions like driving less, riding a bike or walking instead of driving, composting instead of burning yard waste, and by reducing our waste in general.


Trends in Local Air Quality

Recent trends in Colorado and Western states include warmer and drier air. As a result, we’re seeing more wildfires, both in quantity and in intensity. This produces greater volumes of smoke, which we all breathe. Immuno-compromised, our elderly population, and kids are the most affected. For example, low levels of air pollution can impact lung development in children. Even healthy individuals may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to more pollutants in the air, like coughing, congestion, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Because of this, it is important that we maintain our clean air here in the Grand Valley. Rain and snow can help improve air quality. As rain droplets (or snowflakes) fall to the ground, they can collect air pollutants on their surface and drag them to the ground, “cleaning” the air. 

Unfortunately, less precipitation overall also means less cleaning of the air so particulates and other pollutants may linger longer. Also, more travel to and from our county, or an increase in population means more emissions from vehicles, businesses, and construction. It all impacts the quality of life and health of a community in the long term. 


Burn Permit Update

People who have burn permits also need to know air conditions to make sure it’s safe to burn.  Permitting goals include protecting the health and safety of residents and to reduce pollution in Mesa County. The spring open burn season recently finished in the City of Grand Junction. It continues through May 31 for residential permit holders in Mesa County. Agricultural permit holders in Mesa County may burn year round, provided conditions are okay for open burning.

If you have questions or need help, call us at 970-248-6900. Air conditions can change quickly, so it’s important for people  to check our website on a regular basis. During the first quarter, Mesa County Public Health issued three No Burn Advisories.