ALWAYS CALL 911 if you are in immediate danger and need emergency help.
Prepare for or respond to a wildfire
Air quality health information:
- Sign up to receive air quality email notices for your ZIP code. Smoke from wildfires, even from wildfires tens or hundreds of miles away, can significantly affect your health, especially if you have existing lung or breathing problems.
- Health care professionals: Take this course about the health effects associated with wildfire smoke exposure and steps for patients to take before or during a wildfire.
- Public health officials and others can use the Smoke Ready Toolbox to help educate the public about the risks of smoke exposure and actions people can take to protect their health.
- En español: Caja de herramientas "Smoke Ready" para educar al público acerca de los riesgos de la exposición al humo y las acciones que la gente tiene para proteger su salud.
- Real-time smoke monitoring data, from US Forest Service
- Read more: How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health
- Controlling asthmas triggers
- Are you living somewhere that is impacted by wildfire smoke? EPA has developed a two-sided infographic card with information on how to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke, how to select the correct respirator mask, and how to properly wear the mask to protect your health. You can order free copies of the infographic to distribute to your community.
Planning for disaster debris:
Damage from a wildfire depends on the size, extent, and other factors. Damage debris can include destroyed structures, hazardous waste, green waste, or personal property. More information on disaster debris.
Chemical or fertilizer storage:
Properly designed or modified storage facilities help protect workers' health and safety, and minimize the risk of contamination to land or water.
Hazardous Waste Management Facilities and Units
Pesticides: Containers, Containment, Storage and Disposal of Pesticides
Recover after a wildfire.
ALERT: Generator exhaust is toxic. Always put generators outside well away from doors, windows, and vents. Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas. Carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly, can build up quickly, and linger for hours. More information.
Air quality and health information:
After a wildfire, be aware that smoldering materials in the building may produce many pollutants. Many adverse health conditions can be caused by inhaling or ingesting even small amounts of these pollutants. Small children, the elderly, or people with preexisting respiratory conditions can be especially vulnerable to some of these pollutants.
- More information about pollutants produced by burning materials
- Asthma: wildfires and air quality
- Health and environmental effects of particle pollution (smoke, soot)
What to do with disaster debris:
Disasters can generate tons of debris, including building rubble, soil and sediments, green waste (e.g., trees and shrubs), personal property, ash, and charred wood. How a community manages disaster debris depends on the type and amount of debris and the waste management options available.
Burying or burning is no longer acceptable, except when permission or a waiver has been granted, because of the side effects of smoke and fire from burning, and potential water and soil contamination from burial. Typical methods of recycling and solid waste disposal in sanitary landfills often cannot be applied to disaster debris because of the large volume of waste and reluctance to overburden existing disposal capacity. More information on handling debris.
More about Wildfires
Higher temperatures relate to drought and increased risk of fire.