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Wildfire Smoke Prompts Health Concerns

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(credit: Victoria Blackwell from Lone Tree)

(credit: Victoria Blackwell from Lone Tree)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

DENVER (CBS4) – The smoke spread across much of the south metro area Monday from the Lower North Fork Fire prompted health concerns and some warnings that extended into Tuesday afternoon.

The fire also serves as a warning about health concerns for the summer.

On Monday afternoon smoke blocked the fire area and moved northeast and east. Early Tuesday thick smoke lingered over the fire. If winds whip things up once again, the smoke could travel.

People with heart or lung problems are urged to limit exposure to smoke. Smoke can trigger asthma episodes, allergy problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), so those who suffer from any of those should beware and stay inside with doors and windows closed.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lower North Fork Fire

Ben Youngerman’s lifelong asthma was definitely aggravated.

“Irritation in the lungs feeling burning inside my chest and up in my throat,” asthma sufferer Ben Youngerman said. “I had to roll up all the windows in my car just in order to breathe.”

Watch Dr. Dave Hnida’s report on the health risks from the smoke in the video below:

“If you have mild symptoms you can try some of the over-the-counter remedies when it comes to the allergy piece. But if the symptoms are moderate to severe, or if they’re not just nose and eyes, but you’re having breathing problems, then you should definitely get in to see someone,” Dr. Rohit Kkatial with National Jewish Health said.

There is a wildfire smoke health advisory in effect until at least 4 p.m. Tuesday. It’s for southern Jefferson, Denver and Douglas counties, as well as western Arapahoe and Elbert counties.

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