Forest fires affect everyone. It can spread quickly and harm us. Forest fires are becoming more widespread and dangerous. More people are living in areas at risk of wildfires, but we can take action to prepare. Learn how to prepare your family and community.
Protect yourself from smoke.
When wildfires cause smoke, it is important that everyone reduce their exposure to smoke. Wildfire smoke irritates your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can make breathing difficult and make you cough or wheeze. Children, pregnant women, and people with asthma, COPD or heart disease need to be especially careful when inhaling wildfire smoke.
Keep smoke outside.
- Choose a room that you can close off from the outside air.
- Set up a portable air cleaner or indoor air purifier to keep the air in this room clean even when smoke is in the rest of the building and outdoors. If you are using a DIY box fan filter unit, never leave it unattended.
Reduce your exposure to smoke By wearing a respirator.
- A respirator is a mask that fits tightly to your face to filter smoke before you inhale it.
- You must wear the appropriate mask and wear it correctly. Respirators are not made for children.
- If you have heart or lung disease, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to wear a ventilator.
- Avoid using candles, gas, propane, wood-burning stoves, stoves, or air sprays, and don’t fry or grill meat, smoked tobacco products, or vacuum.
- If you have a central air conditioning system, use high-efficiency filters to capture fine particles from the smoke. If your system has a fresh air intake, set the system to the recirculation mode or close the external intake damper.
Pets and other animals can be affected by bushfire smoke, too.
fire tracking Near you until you are ready.
- The Fires: Current Conditions page on AirNow contains a map of fires across North America.
- NOAA’s Fire Weather Forecast page sets firing hours and warnings.
- Listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Emergency Alert System (EAS) and weather radio for emergency alerts.
Watch for any health symptoms If you have asthma, COPD, heart disease, or are pregnant. Get medical help if you need it.
Learn more about protecting yourself from wildfire smoke.
Evacuate the place safely.
Public authorities may require you to evict or may decide to evict. Read about how to evacuate safely and how to develop a family disaster plan, including:
- Find out what could happen to you
- Create a disaster plan
- Complete the checklist
- Practice your plan
Stay healthy during a power outage.
Large fires can cause long-term power outages. Read what to do in the event of a power outage, including:
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Food Safety
- Drinkable water
- power line hazards