As smoke from the Black Forest Fire and fires in surrounding areas continue to affect air quality in El Paso County, Public Health recommends that people monitor air quality and if needed, take precautionary steps.
El Paso County Public Health is advising people, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) to reduce or limit strenuous outdoor physical activity. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
“If you can see or smell smoke it is a good indicator to reduce your exposure by going indoors,” said Jill Law, R.N., M.H.A. and Public Health Director.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a wildfire smoke health advisory for the Black Forest Fire. To monitor current air quality, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.
For those individuals without indoor air conditioning consider moving to cooler areas when possible. Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol or decaffeinated fluids to keep cool.
“This is the time for people to reach out to their friends and neighbors,” Law said. “If you know someone affected by wildfire smoke that doesn't have air conditioning, help them in any way you can, by inviting them over or helping them find a safe place.”
Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consult their medical provider.