Fire is an important natural event in many ecosystems, and it also poses costly risks to human health and property. In recent years, North America has experienced several extreme wildfire seasons and extraordinary wildfire events, driven in part by declines in the health of wildland ecosystems. These changes are due in part to climate change and also to increases in human-caused fire ignitions as more people move into the wildland-urban interface. These factors have contributed to increases in the exposure of populations to direct and indirect impacts of fire, especially smoke.
Wildfire smoke is an incredibly complex and constantly evolving mixture of gases and particles, both solid and liquid. Smoke is directly related to negative health impacts, including aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, congestive heart failure, and premature death. Small particles in wildfire smoke may result in exposures lasting hours to weeks.
REPORT A FIRE!
CALL 911 or