DENVER (CBS4) – Smoke from the High Park Fire in Larimer County invaded much of the Denver metro area overnight and on Tuesday morning many Denverites woke to the smell of smoke.

That led to a few dozen people in the city calling 911 with concerns that something nearby was on fire.

“It’s going to tax our resources, but it’s a challenge we’re willing to take on. To get those rigs out there is imperative to ensure the public there’s no immediate hazard,” said Lt. Phil Champagne, Denver Fire Department spokesman.

Champagne said forest fires smell different from house fires and that the smoke from a wildland fire is gray in color. A house fire is more black.

The smoke has already been an issue for people in Fort Collins for days.

The smoke brings some health risks with it. Specialists at National Jewish say the poor air quality could affect anyone, but particularly people with pre-existing respiratory problems.

Some people might notice difficulty breathing, coughing and some chest discomfort. They recommend staying indoors as much as you can. Also, don’t exercise too much, and if you have asthma keep your inhaler near you.

Late Sunday night the American Red Cross was forced to move their evacuation center that had been set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte to The Ranch at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland because of deteriorating air quality.


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