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Smoke leads to health warning

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 20, 2001

DADE CITY -- As winds shifted and smoke from a Polk County wildfire moved toward the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, federal and state agencies issued health warnings for people in the area who have respiratory problems.

Zephyrhills Municipal Airport Manger Jim Werme said smoke rolled across the airport Monday morning and reduced visibility, but as quickly as it arrived, the winds shifted and the smoke moved north.

The smoke poured into downtown Dade City around noon.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, the Pasco County Health Department and the National Weather Service both issued health warnings Monday for people around Tampa Bay, including Pasco County.

Experts recommend people with respiratory problems stay indoors until the smoke passes.

The weather service predicted winds from the east and southeast -- pushing the smoke across east Pasco -- would continue today.

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