Smoke and haze blanket the Front Range

Colorado Springs, Colo. (KKTV) The Hayden Pass fire, burning about 40 miles west of Canon City, is sending smoke and haze all across the Front Range. It has people worried about their health, and 911 dispatchers flooded with calls.

Sunday afternoon, shifting winds brought the smoke into the Colorado Springs area. Almost immediately, officials say the calls started coming in to 911.

"If there's any concern, please call, we encourage those calls, but right now the call volume is overwhelming our dispatch center with people that are just saying 'I smell it.' Well, right now the whole Front Range smells the smoke," said Lt. Carrick Patterson with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

11 News viewers from Canon City, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Monument, and as far north as Castle Rock sent pictures into our newsroom of the thick haze blocking out the view of the mountains and filling the air with the heavy smell of smoke.

For some the smoke isn't a huge problem, but for others, it could be dangerous.

William Pyles lives in Widefield. He says when he got home Sunday evening there was ash falling from the sky. He and his wife are taking precautions to breathe the smoke as little as possible.

"If somebody has breathing issues or problems with their respiration, which thankfully I don't, but it's like I told my wife, 'We let the dogs out and as soon as we let them out shut the door and keep the door shut all the time," Pyles said.

Health experts say that anytime there are extremely smoky or hazy conditions, people who typically have breathing problems or health conditions should take extra precautions. Everyone, even those without health conditions, should limit extended outdoor activity and stay inside as much as possible.