As the Waldo Canyon Fire continues to burn in Colorado Springs, in addition to other fires burning throughout Colorado, its important to remember that the health of those in areas with wildfire smoke can be significantly impacted.
Healthy adults and children are typically okay, and any respiratory symptoms due to breathing smoky air are short-lived and resolve as the smoke dissipates.
Smoke can worsen symptoms for those with asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Typical symptoms may include difficulty breathing, coughing with or without mucus, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath, and increased sensitivity to seasonal allergies.
High Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filters can help those who have problems with airborne allergens and irritants due to wildfire smoke. However, dust and surgical masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. For more information about effective masks and fit testing, see the Respirator Fact Sheet provided by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Stay up to date on conditions in your surrounding area via your local news stations and consult your doctor to determine the course of action you should take to help keep your health safe.
Check out this recent article from the Colorado Springs Independent for up-to-date information: Waldo Canyon Fire