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Health Officials Warn Of Smoke Dangers From Hewlett Fire

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- The smoke from the growing Hewlett Fire burning in Poudre Canyon west of Fort Collins could be dangerous to some people.

Schools in Fort Collins kept children inside for recess on Thursday.

Health officials are warning those with lung or health problems to limit their time outdoors.

“What we’re calling it is unhealthy for sensitive groups,” said Colorado Public Health and Environment spokesman Will Allison.

The smoke is being kept over Fort Collins by an inversion called the “dome effect” which doesn’t allow the smoke to dissipate or blow away. As the fire grows, conditions get worse.

“We were hoping it would kind of push out by noon but again, weather hasn’t cooperated yet,” said Allison.

The air quality warning could last through Friday. Until then, people are advised to stay indoors and only go outside for short periods of time.

“You can kind of feel it in the nasal passages a little bit, respiratory, in the throat, you know, like when you’re breathing in campfire smoke, you tend to want to get out of it anyway,” said Fort Collins resident James Mitchell.

The haze extended 65 miles south to Denver, prompting concerns that it may affect planes at Denver International Airport. Operations were not affected on Thursday.

The Hewlett Fire has burned 7,300 acres since it began on Monday. The fire is only five percent contained.

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