State explains how residents affected by the Boulder County fire can stay safe when they can return home

COLORADO (KRDO) – State health officials and local authorities are urging Coloradians affected by fires in Boulder County to take precautions to protect themselves from lingering dangers.

According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, more than 580 homes have been destroyed. Currently, people are told not to enter the evacuation while crews continue to work in the danger zone.

When residents can return to their homes, the CDPHE recommends following the guide below:

  • Stay up to date on the tetnus vaccine.
    • The CDPHE states that injuries can occur during recovery from a fire and upon returning to a burn area. Public health officials recommend the vaccine to anyone who has not received a documented dose in the past ten years. The CDPHE says the state is working to obtain tetanus vaccines for first responders and residents, regardless of their insurance status.
  • Follow all applicable boil water advisories.
    • Superior and Louisville are both subject to a boil water advisory. This means that residents of these areas should not drink tap water without first boiling it until told otherwise. The CDPHE says drinking untreated water could lead to nausea, cramps, headaches, and more. Boiled water should be used for all water consumption, including brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until further notice.
  • Be careful with carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • CDPHE says never use generators, grills, camping stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal appliances inside a home, garage or of a motorhome – or even outside an open window. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to death.
  • Protection against smoke inhalation.
    • With isolated pockets of smoke remaining in the area, CDPHE urges residents to watch out for burning debris and wear an N95 mask. While masking remains an effective layer against COVID-19, health officials say N95 masks are the only masks that can protect against smoke.
  • Protects against debris and ash.
    • When cleaning, the CDPHE recommends wearing gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks to protect yourself from the ashes. Glasses are also recommended.

For any questions regarding insurance coverage, CDPHE says to use a trusted source. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) and part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) can help people with insurance questions. This includes contacting insurance companies and agents or asking how to file a claim.

Contact the Consumer Services team at (303) -894-7490, 800-930-3745, email [email protected], or click here.

The CDPHE also recommends keeping proof of any expenses and trying to start the complaints process as soon as possible.

For more information on the Marshall Fire, click here.

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