DENVER (KDVR) — Coloradans are dealing with another round of hazy, smoky skies Sunday, in part due to wildfires burning along the West Coast.
In California, the Dixie Fire is now one of the largest in state history, destroying homes and buildings in Butte, Plumas, Lassen and Tehama Counties.
Further north, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon has grown to more than 400,000 acres, as fire danger remains in the extreme category.
Climate experts say unfortunately, Colorado’s unique location places it right in the path of the smoke moving east.
“So that really acknowledges the unfortunate importance of, how’s California doing? How’s Washington doing? Our fates are all linked,” said Dr. Jeff Sippel with UCHealth.
Sippel says UCHealth’s pulmonary clinics have been busy this week, with patients reporting eye and throat irritation, and asthma exacerbations.
Doctors say spending substantial time outside in Colorado this weekend is equivalent to smoking multiple cigarettes in terms of impact on the human body.
“If you have a pack of cigarettes, you could theoretically walk away from them. It’s really tough to walk away from the air we all have to breath,” said Sippel.
And as climate change continues to worsen, Sippel says smoky days like this might become a regular occurrence in Colorado in years to come.