The High Park Fire is sending smoke and ash across Colorado…and beyond. The smoke is especially bad in parts of Fort Collins and Wellington and it is enough to make some people sick.

Most of us have already felt the coughing, had the itchy eyes, and smell the smoke, but think of what that smoke could be doing to your lungs if you’re not careful.

I know a lot of you are working out like crazy trying to get your ‘summer body’, but you might want to think twice about working out in the smoke.

As The CW reports, if you can smell smoke in your house, that means there are particulates in the air that aren’t good for your lungs.

It’s better to not be overly aerobic. That’s going to force you to breathe harder have more air exchange, indoor and outdoor. People smell this smoke indoors, so that means particulate is getting indoors. Maybe just take it a little easier if you are a heavy exerciser.

The Colorado Department of Health has issued action alert days and a health advisory covering most of the Front Range and beyond because the smoke can be detrimental to people’s health, especially the young, the old, and anyone with respiratory problems. They are recommending people to stay indoors and to limit outdoor activity.

Some other things they recommend:

  • Staying indoors and keeping doors and windows closed
  • Turn on the air conditioning (with pushes the air through air filters)
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Relocating until the smoke clears

As you can see by that list there really isn’t much you can do, the smoke is everywhere, and it’s going to stay that way until this monster of a fire gets put out.

One thing I have seen is a lot of people tying bandanas or dust masks over their faces. Just so you know: a bandana, a surgical mask or a one-strap dust mask WILL NOT protect your lungs from wildfire smoke! According to a release from the New Mexico Department of Health you need to have a two strap mask called a ‘particulate respirator’ that has the word “NIOSH” and says either “N95″ or P100″ to actually protect your lungs from wildfire smoke.

[The CW]

[The Colorado Department of Health]

[New Mexico Department of Health]