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Campfires & I-70 Traffic a big part of Denver's Air Pollution problem

Updated: May 28, 2021

Denver has been in the headlines lately, but not for good reasons. Denver recently had the worst air quality of the big cities around the entire world. Anything over 150 is considered unhealthy for everyone. The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Denver and surrounding cities on March 19, 2021. According to, Fort Lupton had the worst air quality index at 163 while Denver's was lower but still at an unhealthy 153.

Check out these recent 2021 statistics from the American Lung Association, that shows that Denver is in the top 10 in the nation for having the worst smog:

Campfires & I-70 Traffic a big part of Denver's Air Pollution problem
Campfires & I-70 Traffic a big part of Denver's Air Pollution problem - Denver is the worst Top 10

Where is this pollution coming from?

A big source: Cars. Everyone driving to the store, to school, to events, to the mountains, everywhere.

Emissions from the millions of vehicles on our roads each day contribute substantially to our air pollution problems.

I-70 Traffic on a Friday afternoon on May 28, 2021
I-70 Traffic on a Friday afternoon on May 28, 2021

Just one slice of this car traffic comes from the pollution-puffing traffic going through the Eisenhower tunnel. The back-to-back I-70 from Denver has rapidly increased over the past decade with more than 1.3 million more cars passing through the tunnel than 10 years ago. In 2019, the tunnel had an average of 35,931 vehicles spewing pollution into our air on a daily basis. That's over 13 million+ vehicles a year now going through the tunnel.

Denver is also in the top 10 for having built the MOST APARTMENTS in the country in the past 10 years. And it's only getting worse day by day, as developers build higher and everywhere in the front range to pile people in. Traffic gets worse by the day as Denver residents get into their cars to commute, go shopping, or to escape our noisy and polluted city to head up to the mountains. There is literally a mass exodus from Denver daily by day-hikers, skiers, vacationers, and campers throughout the year who want to escape to the mountains.

Yimby Denver: Air Pollution from Campfires

Another source of Colorado's air pollution that no one talks about: Campers It's not just traffic, industry and wildfires that contribute to our air pollution. Millions of people drive up I-70 to camp every year, and then proceed to burn campfires so they can roast marshmallows and drink and be merry.

Denver Yimby: Campers and Air Pollution

Most RVs in the campground run stinky, noisy generators all day long so they can watch TV or run the air conditioner while they "camp." Think about it, have you been to a Colorado campground near Denver? The entire campground is engulfed in a thick smog of campfire smoke and generator exhaust and noise. Is this a source of our air pollution and smog? Yes. Is it good for us to sit around smokey fires in smoggy campgrounds? No. Read more about campfires and the environment:

Denver Yimby: Non-stop building in Denver covering all permeable ground

Denver Yimby: Out of control growth in Denver

Everyone needs to seriously look at what we're doing to our planet, and realize that the planet (and Denver) is NOT infinite. We can't just keep having babies, consuming, and taking more, more and more without consequences. I fear for the children of today, our population is growing out of control everywhere around the world – and our natural resources are all strained. Think about the cost of wood, water, food... everything is skyrocketing. Why? We've outgrown the planet. The human population has increased unchecked and we're reaching the critical point in which we are collapsing the ecosystem in order to feed our hunger for more.

Human Wendigos have taken over the world.

People aren't satisfied with what they have, they want more. More money, homes, children, food, new cars, land & homes, SUVs, 3-car garages, boats, paddle-boards, new skis, meat-eating dogs & cats, RVs, new clothes, books, booze, drugs, toys, tvs, furniture, video games, new cell phones... the list goes on and on. People can't help themselves. We're over-consuming our limited planet.

Sadly, it's not just in Denver, overpopulation and the destruction of our environment is a widespread, worldwide problem. Why are we not talking about this problem?

Skyrises and priuses are not going to solve the problem. Birth control and self-control is.

We need to stop this non-stop growth madness. If not for us, then we need to do it for all the creatures on this earth, large and small, including our own children. Not mine, as we are aware of what is happening, and we could not bring ourselves to bring more innocents into this world of non-stop destruction. Perhaps one day we will adopt or foster, but for now, we'll do what we can and not add to the problem.



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