BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Intense winds fueled the spread of the Marshall Fire, and high winds may still be present in burn areas as residents and others work to clear debris.

In general, county health officials say people with respiratory illnesses are advised to wear an N95 mask when in burn areas. They also warn that poor air quality can cause some of the same symptoms as COVID-19.

During windy days, officials are urging people to stay inside and keep their windows and doors closed. Wearing an N95 mask is encouraged for everyone during windy days and outdoor activity should be limited. Do not disturb ash or debris.

Officials also say people should get their HVAC ducts professionally cleaned as soon as possible and replace filters as soon as they appear soiled.

It is important to note, according to public health authorities, that while some websites and weather apps may report air quality to be good or moderate, these sources may be getting their information from monitoring devices that are positioned too far away from the affected areas to provide an accurate reading.