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How locals are affected by haze from Western fires

Dozens of wildfires burning

Thick haze blankets southern Colorado...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Wildfire activity has been fairly low in Colorado recently but the state's air quality is currently being affected by other fires in the West.

Haze from dozens of fires, primarily in California, moved through Colorado Springs on Monday and obscured the view of the mountains.

READ MORE: What's with the haze?

The haze wasn't popular for most visitors at Garden of the Gods.

"It messed up my trip a little because I wanted to get a lot of pictures of the mountains," said Francisco Real, from Florida. "So I'll be coming back."

For Bob Garmoe, of Missouri, it was the second time this year that weather affected his visit to the park.

"I came in May and there was a blizzard," he said.  "Now, there's haze.  You can't win.  But it's nature.  You can't change it.  Just accept it and try to enjoy it."

Steven Read, from England, didn't mind the haze.

"I think it's quite good," he said.  It gives a different perspective to everything."

Haze often causes breathing issues for people with respiratory ailments.

Dr. George Hertner, an emergency room physician at Memorial Hospital, said the hospital saw an increase Monday in patients who have asthma, allergies and other breathing difficulties.

"You can even become dehydrated without knowing it," he said.  "Your body works harder to breathe in that kind of haze.  Your best bet is to drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors and keep your windows down until the haze dissipates."

By Monday evening, the haze had thinned out over much of the area.

Julie McDonald, from Pennsylvania, offered the proper perspective.

"It's a little disappointing that there's not a better view, but I feel worse for the people in the path of those fires out west."


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