During the Fire

Health Impacts

Wildfire smoke has negative health effects for everyone but particularly for children, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions. If wildfire smoke is drifting into your air, review these resources to understand how to protect your health, especially if you or your loved ones are among one of these vulnerable groups.

Wildfire Smoke Factsheet: Reduce Your Smoke Exposure
This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fact sheet provides guidance to residents on how to reduce smoke exposure indoors and outdoors. [pdf, EPA]

Wildfire Smoke and Your Patients’ Health
The EPA developed this course for physicians, registered nurses, asthma educators, and others involved in clinical or health education about health impacts associated with wildfire smoke. [url; EPA]

How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health
AirNow’s web page provides residents with steps to protect your health during a wildfire smoke event. [url; AirNow]

Wildfire Smoke and Pregnancy
Created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this website offers brief guidance for pregnant women before, during, and after a wildfire smoke event. [url; CDC, 2019]

Wildfire Smoke and Children
Created by the CDC, this website offers brief guidance for protecting children before, during, and after a wildfire smoke event. [url; CDC, 2019]

Chronic Conditions and Wildfire Smoke
Created by the CDC, this website offers people with any chronic condition with steps to protect themselves from wildfire smoke. [url; CDC, 2019]

Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials
Resulting as a product from interagency collaboration between the CDC, EPA, and many others, this guide provides guidance for local public health officials to prepare for smoke events, to take measures to protect the public during smoke events, and effectively communicate with the public about wildfire smoke and health. [pdf; EPA, 2019]

Real-Time and Forecasting

These sites provide real-time monitoring of ongoing and potential fire conditions, as well as air quality. Using these resources in addition to information from your local agencies can help you to assess the conditions in your area and plan an informed course of action.

AirNow’s website allows users to monitor the current, real-time air quality index of their geographic area ranging from good to hazardous. [url; AirNow]

Fires: Current Conditions
AirNow provides an interactive map of AirNow monitors, temporary monitors, and hazard mapping system fire locations nationally. [url; AirNow]

Fire Forecasting
This U.S. Forest Service website is a landing page that provides wildland fire management agencies with climate and fire behavior so they can make informed, critical decisions. [url; USFS]

Smoke Mitigation in Homes

If your area is experiencing wildfire smoke, and especially if you’ve been instructed to remain indoors to reduce your exposure, limiting your exposure while indoors is critically important. Review these resources to understand how to filter your indoor air and keep yourself safe inside.

Wildfire Smoke Factsheet: Indoor Air Filtration
This EPA fact sheet gives residents guidance on filtration options and choosing a portable air cleaner to improve air quality in the home during a wildfire smoke event. [pdf; EPA]

Improving Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality during Wildfire Smoke Events
The Washington State Department of Health offers guidance for schools and buildings with mechanical ventilation to maximize indoor air quality. [pdf, WSDH, 2015]

Wildfires and Indoor Air Quality
EPA’s website provides helpful information for residents to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke and ash inside the home. [url; EPA, 2020]

Smoke – Ready Toolbox for Wildfires
EPA and other partner agencies have assembled a toolbox for the general public and health professionals with educational resources. [url; EPA, 2019]

Create a Clean Room to Protect Indoor Air Quality during a Wildfire
This EPA website provides the particulars of setting up a clean room to reduce wildfire exposure indoors. [url; EPA, 2020]

Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home
EPA’s consumer guide to air cleaners gives general information, tips for selecting an air cleaner, and a Q&A section to help residents to best chose an air cleaner for their home. [pdf; EPA, 2018]

Residential Air Cleaners: A Technical Summary
This EPA document is geared towards residential housing design professionals, public health officials, and indoor air quality professionals and provides general information and a reference guide on residential air cleaners. [pdf; EPA, 2018]

New Guidance for Residential Air Cleaners
This EPA publication provides recommendations and information on residential air filtration and air cleaners for both consumers and technical professionals. [pdf; EPA, 2019]

Wildfire Smoke: Considerations for California’s Public Health Officials
This publication, prepared by the California Department of Public Health for its public health officials, offers information on the health effects of wildfire smoke, actions that can be taken to reduce exposure, and other public health considerations. [pdf; CDPH, 2019]

Preparedness and Evacuation

If you’ve been ordered to evacuate, or are anticipating such an order, you can use these resources to prepare as thoroughly as possible and ensure that you have a safe experience.

How to Prepare for a Wildfire
This guide covers how to prepare for evacuation as well as preparing your home for a wildfire. [pdf; FEMA]

Ready: Wildfires
The Department of Homeland Security lists steps to remain safe before, during, and after a wildfire and includes links to survivor stories, a social media toolkit, a guide for preparing your organization for a wildfire, and other resources. [url; DHS, 2020]

Wildfire Evacuation
FEMA’s fact sheet includes some basic tips for staying safe during an evacuation. [pdf; FEMA]

Fire Evacuation Checklist
This document covers all of the steps you should take to be ready for an evacuation. [pdf; US Forest Service]