Jun 6, 2011 11:12 PM by Jeannette Hynes
The smoky haze from Arizona is hanging around Colorado's Front Range, causing some to hold their breath until it disappears.The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a smoke health advisory until noon Tuesday for southern Colorado.
"It's horrible. I can't breathe," remarks Jennifer Davis. "Both me and my son have asthma, and it is very hard to breathe. My neighbor said it is hard to breathe. Everybody is having lots of problems."
The Department says a good rule to follow for staying indoors is that if visibility is less than five miles because of the smoke, the smoke levels are unhealthy. People at risk (children, elderly, health conditions) should stay indoors. If smoke is gathering inside, consider relocating temporarily if the smoke is making you sick.
A hot day draws people outside, but the smoke stops them from staying out too long.
"It does, but I mean, it's just hot inside the house. We don't have air," exclaims Rayna Allee, holding her three-month-old baby in her arms at Acacia Park.
The smoke makes it difficult to enjoy the views and a deep breath. Smoke particles are very small, and health experts say they can reach the deepest part of the lungs.
"You can kind of smell it a little bit, you know that smoky smell. That's no fun," says Christine McDonald. She adds she misses the view of Pikes Peak.
Parkview Hospital in Pueblo has experienced a noticeable increase in the number of people doctors have treated with serious breathing problems because of the wildfire smoke. Penrose, Memorial, and St. Mary Corwin spokespeople say they have not seen any spikes of people treated for respiratory problems.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment says the likelihood of long-term effects from short-term exposure to pollutants like wildfire smoke is low.