Smoke Health Advisory Through 4 a.m. Saturday In So Co

Smoke from fires burning in Arizona and New Mexico is pushing into Southern Colorado, creating hazy conditions.

A smoke health advisory continues until 4 a.m. Saturday because of health concerns. The advisory extends from the San Luis Valley, northeast to El Paso County and then south to Las Animas County.

A blanket of smoke covered Colorado Springs Thursday, and smokey conditions continued Friday. People tell 11 News they could see the smoke and smell it, anywhere they went.

"The haze is very thick. It's hard to see Pikes Peak. It's hard to see anymore than a couple miles," said Rob Andzik.

"You can only see the outline of the mountains," said Annie Pechnyo.

The smoke is coming from the Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona. Dry fuels are feeding that fire, which has grown to more than 40,000 acres. Strong winds have been pushing the smoke our way.

"My nose is burning a little bit, thought not too much," said Andzik.

Health experts say the smoke can cause health problems, especially for people with asthma, or other respiratory illnesses, people with heart disease, infants, and the elderly.

"You may want to avoid being outdoors until we start seeing some clearing of the smoke," said Bernadette Albanese, the Medical Director for El Paso County Health Department. "You may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, scratchy throat."

For adults and children who do not suffer from a chronic illness, the haze should not pose a serious threat.

"If you're feeling okay, there's probably not any major problems at this point," said Albanese.

If the visibility drops below five miles the air quality has become unhealthy, and experts say everyone should try to stay indoors.


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