Smoke Settles Over Sunshine State

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Florida residents are waking up today still in the grip of statewide wildfires that have shut down interstate highways, charred nearly 234,000 acres of land and triggered smoke so dense it's posing serious health problems for humans and animals alike.

Forecasters predict more threatening conditions so there is no telling when Florida's misery will end.

From the Georgia state line to south of Miami, you can't escape the smell of smoke.

Low visibility is forcing officials to shut down highways, making drivers dizzy from all the detours.

More than 200 wildfires have put the Sunshine State under a giant cloud, which is irritating eyes and inflaming lungs, doctors say.

"You do get calls, and people with severe diseases end up in emergency rooms," said Tahir Ahmed, a pulmonologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

The pervasive fires are taking an especially cruel toll on birds, which are becoming disoriented from all the smoke and flying into buildings and windows.

Miami residents are now bringing injured, dazed birds to a special refuge.

Health officials are still advising the elderly and people with respiratory problems to stay indoors.

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