'Huge rat infestation'; Large homeless camp causing health hazard near Colorado Capitol, Lincoln Park closed

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DENVER -- The Denver Health Department says a homeless encampment near the Colorado state Capitol has turned into a health hazard.

The health department says about 97 people are camping in 40 tents at Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park will be closed for several weeks due to a huge rat infestation, according to the health department.

The health department will clean up trash, sweep sidewalks, use a bleach solution and tackle the rat problem while the park is closed.

The health department said the closure has nothing to do with the camping ban. They say the closure is due to the health hazard caused by the rat infestation.

The city told FOX31 the state has a pest control contractor to manage the rat issue.

Many of the campers said they didn't know where they would go.

Some spent the afternoon across the street at Civic Center Park. The park is open to all until 11 p.m. After that, rangers make sure people go somewhere else.

As of Wednesday afternoon, many did not go the Denver Rescue Mission.

A spokesperson told FOX31 intakes were fewer than normal.

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