As reported but the CDC, when wildfires burn either in your area or many miles away, they produce smoke that may reach your community. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. This smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Who is at greatest risk from wildfire smoke?
- People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
- Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
- Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.
By taking these steps you can reduce your risk of exposure to wildfire smoke:
- Be prepared for wildfires
- Check the air quality often
- Consult local visibility guides
- 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.
- Avoid activities that increase indoor air pollution
- burning candles, fireplaces, gas stoves
- Take action to prevent wildfires from starting
- Follow your health care providers advice
- Don’t rely on dust masks – they are meant for large particles, not smoke
- Evacuate if necessary
- Protect yourself from exposure if you aid in cleaning from up a fire – wear protective gear for face and skin.