ALWAYS CALL 911 if you are in immediate danger and need emergency help.
- Prepare for or respond to a wildfire - the dangers when wildfire is predicted or advancing.
- Recover after a wildfire - protect your family, business, community.
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.
- Fire and smoke map, from airnow.gov
- 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. View or download the infographic: Reduce Health Risks In Areas With Wildfire Smoke.
Indoor Air Quality:
- Smoke from wildfires can enter your home and make the indoor air unhealthy to breathe, too. Learn more about wildfire smoke and your indoor qir quality.
- Communities affected by wildfire smoke may set up or identify cleaner air spaces and cleaner air shelters. Such spaces should be to be adapted to accommodate safety measures related to COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19, Wildfires, and Indoor Air Quality.
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.
- EPA worked with local, state and federal partners on the response to the 2021 Northern California fires, to identify locations of household hazardous waste (HHW) and other hazardous materials and containers, and to ensure safe conditions and remove materials that are unstable, corrosive or toxic. EPA has also launched a site to map fire-affected areas and progress. Try the online mapper.
- Phone hotline for Oregon wildfire-affected property owners about Step I haz waste removal. Oregon property owners ready to begin rebuilding and recovering from this summer’s devastating wildfires now have a dedicated phone number (541-225-5549) to ask questions about EPA’s removal of household hazardous waste at their property or provide additional details about their property that will help speed the EPA removal work. The hotline will offer service in both English and Spanish. Read more.
- EPA stands-up second wildfire recovery response staging area at Salem. Will collect household hazardous materials from burned properties to protect residents and to ensure these materials are disposed of properly and safely. Read more.
EPA's wildfire guide for underground and aboveground storage tank systems is a resource for underground storage tank (UST) and oil aboveground storage tank (AST) owners and operators in the event of a wildfire.
- Read EPA's Wildfire Guide: Preparation And Recovery For Underground And Aboveground Storage Tank Systems.
More about Wildfires
Higher temperatures relate to drought and increased risk of fire.
EPA's Smoke Sense app helps you learn about health risks from wildfire smoke in your area. Citizen scientists can also use the app to report their health symptoms and actions they take to lower their exposure to smoke.