By Garry Schalla, Development Director
The community response to the Lake Christine Fire near Basalt and El Jebel was an inspiring demonstration of neighbors, officials, and organizations doing everything possible to support those affected by the fire. Mountain Family Health Centers has been honored to support our Basalt and Glenwood Springs patients suffering from smoke inhalation and other problems related to the fire. In order to keep our employees and safe, we closed our Basalt health center for three days during the early days of the Lake Christine Fire. We have reopened the clinic and continue serving new and existing patients at that location and continue to offer services for smoke inhalation and more.
For residents experiencing breathing issues, Mountain Family Health Centers provider Dr. Anneliese Heckert recommends the following:
- Please go down valley and out of the fire area, if possible.
- Wildfire smoke will affect those with chronic lung disease the most (COPD, emphysema and asthma), as well as older adults and young children. For CDC tips on staying healthy, click here: http://ow.ly/UTDD30kOLAC
- Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner but keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter in a designated evacuation center or away from the affected area.
- Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will *not* protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.
- We have open appointments in Basalt and Glenwood Springs for patients experiencing any breathing problems. To make an appointment please call 970-945-2840 during regular business hours.
Dr. Heckert is also Site Medical Director for our Basalt health center. For more resources on the status of the Lake Christine Fire and to help our patients stay safe during the fire, here are some contact numbers and links for the latest information:
Community information line regarding the Lake Christine Fire: 970-510-0705
Eagle County Sheriff’s Office
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EagleCountySO/
Website – http://www.eaglecounty.us/Sheriff/
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PitkinSheriff
Website – http://www.pitkincounty.com/149/Sheriff
Mountain Family Health Centers would like to thank firefighters for their powerful, professional response to the Lake Christine Fire. Local firefighters are an essential part of that effort and Mountain Family is proud of Broc Brown, volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District. Broc is Clinical Operations Manager for our Glenwood Springs health center. Thank you for your help responding to the Lake Christine Fire, Broc!