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PO Box 858 Firestone, CO 80520

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by Genevieve Mellott

Even when fires are west of the Front Range, take precautions to protect your lungs.

The lack of recent moisture is turning much of Colorado into potential fuel for wildfires. With four major fires currently burning within our state and not yet well contained, the question becomes, “Are we at risk?” We may think we are out of harm’s way because of sheer distance. However, as we have seen in the past week, the skies have been filled with ash and smoke that extend to our area.

Can we get sick from inhaling these particulates? The CDC says we can. In addition to people with pre-existing breathing concerns, even healthy people can suffer when air quality is poor. Burning eyes, difficulty breathing, and coughing can all occur, and experts do not fully know the long-term effects.

What can we do to protect ourselves? First, check the Colorado air quality HERE.

When air quality is poor, take measures to minimize the effects:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Run an air conditioner and close windows
  • Make sure your air filter is clean
  • Minimize candle, vacuum, gas stove, and fireplace use.
  • Avoid excess exercise
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if you have asthma or other breathing conditions
  • Use a respirator if you will be exposed to smoke for a long period of time.

While Carbon Valley is not subject to as many wildfires as other areas of Colorado, there is still possible inhalation danger this side of I25. Make sure you take precautions when necessary to stay healthy and safe!

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/wildfires/index.html

https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/smoke-from-wildfires.html#:~:text=Inhaling%20wildfire%20smoke%20can%20cause,tiny%20particles%20in%20the%20smoke.

https://www3.epa.gov/airnow/smoke_fires/respiratory-protection-508.pdf

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/08/17/colorado-wildfire-update-august-17-williams-fork-grizzly-creek/