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Multiple wildfires in southwestern Colorado, including those near Montrose, are contributing to poor air quality across the region. Those who are most likely to be affected by smoke are the elderly, the very young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems or heart disease.
The San Miguel Department of Health and Environment would like to remind you that there are ways to help reduce exposure to smoke. During periods of dense smoke, it is recommended that you stay indoors. If the smoke is reducing visibility to five miles or less, it has reached levels that are unhealthy.
Residents are advised to take the following precautions to stay healthy:
Because of the current drought conditions, we will likely have to deal with smoke pollution all summer. Please come up with a plan to protect yourself and your family and be ready to use it. More suggestions and tips can be found on the EPA Wildfire Smoke Factsheet.
Also, you should always have an evacuation plan in the event of a wildfire. You should know what to pack, as well as your evacuation route and destination. To sign up for CodeRED alerts from San Miguel County, please visit bit.ly/WestRegionCo-CodeRED. To find out more information about our Department of Health and Environment, please visit https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/173/Health-Environment. For current information on the fires burning in Montrose County, please visit http://www.westslopefireinfo.com/ or https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.
Additional links and helpful resources can be found below:
• Get air quality information: Check your local news, the airnow.gov website, or https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/default.aspx
• Learn about home air cleaners: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/guide-air-cleaners-home
• Learn how to use an N95 respirator mask: http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/Documents/Protect%20Your%20Lungs%20Respirator.pdf
• Learn more about wildfire smoke: How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smoke.index