For Immediate Release June 25, 2012
Staff Contact: Rigo Leal, Public Information Officer,
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Heat and Smoke Relief Available at Longmont Recreation Center
JUNE 25, 2012 - In an effort to provide some relief from the smoke and heat currently impacting the Longmont community, the Longmont Recreation Center is welcoming those adversely affected into the facility through July 8.
Located at 310 Quail Road, the Recreation Center has been designated as a “cooling station” for people seeking relief from the smoke and heat, especially for the elderly, young children and people with respiratory conditions. The center is open from 5 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday and 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The Recreation Center is not offering “sheltering” services (no food, no bed, etc.) but instead it is an informal place for people to read a book or listen to their ipods for a few hours.
Many people are closing their windows and turning off their air conditioners to avoid the smoke and consequently their homes become very hot. Opening the Recreation Center doors gives people another option for relief.
The Longmont Senior Center was offering similar relief earlier in June but is currently closed for maintenance. It will reopen July 8 and take the place of the Recreation Center as a cooling station for the community.
Smoke from the High Park Fire in Larimer County has been blowing into Longmont for several days and expected to linger for several more days or weeks. Additionally, hot dry weather is predicted for the foreseeable future. These ingredients add up to potential health problems for people, especially for the most vulnerable members of the community.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued A WILDFIRE SMOKE HEALTH ADVISORY for areas north northwest to north northeast of the High Park Fire to the Wyoming state line and south southeast along the Front Range to Boulder and as far east as Greeley. Cities in this area include but not limited to Poudre Park, Livermore, Ft Collins, Longmont, Loveland, Boulder, and Greeley.
There could be moderate to heavy smoke downwind of the High Park fire. Overnight smoke from the fire is expected to flow down various valleys and settle in low lying areas causing particulate levels to climb to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in parts of the Advisory area.
IF VISIBILITY IS LESS THAN 5 MILES IN SMOKE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, SMOKE HAS REACHED LEVELS THAT ARE UNHEALTHY. If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.
For statewide conditions, forecasts and advisories, visit: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx