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Wildfires and Health

Tips and resources for dealing with the High Park Fire

In the wake of a wildfire, people should closely monitor air quality and, if needed, take precautionary steps.

Protect yourself

  • If possible, temporarily relocate to an area outside of the smoke zone.
  • Go to a location where air is filtered. A local mall, movie theater or recreation center, for example, might provide temporary relief.
  • Close windows and remain indoors. But don't close up the indoors so tightly that it is dangerously warm.
  • Run air-conditioning if there is a filter on the unit. Or run an evaporative cooler or fan system. Keep outdoor air intakes closed and make sure the unit has a filter.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, get ample sleep, make healthy eating choices, and give extra attention to actions that help keep people healthy.

Video tips

  • How a wildfire can affect your health. Dr. Jim Hoyt from Northern Colorado Pulmonary Consultants explains who's at risk and what they should do.
  • Helping kids cope during natural disasters. Michael Gitter, clinical case coordinator at Mountain Crest Behavioral Hospital, gives tips for helping kids cope with their fears and concerns during a wildfire.
  • Wildfire and children. Richard Hahn, respiratory services manager at Poudre Valley Hospital, talks about why kids are sensitive to air quality changes, including tips to keep breathing easier.
  • Wildfire air quality tips. Richard Hahn gives tips for preventing and mitigating respiratory and breathing problems when wildfires degrade air quality.

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