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Studying Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke

For CDPH guidance on preparing for wildfire, visit the Emergency Preparedness Office (EPO) Wildfires webpage

The Environmental Health Investigations Branch has studied health impacts related to wildfire smoke exposure. Wildfire smoke contains many air pollutants that are of concern for health, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and ozone. Particulate matter from wildfires has been linked to adverse health outcomes, such as respiratory problems and asthma.  Children, the elderly, and persons with chronic respiratory conditions are especially at risk from wildfire smoke.

Publications and Presentations


The State of California is planning to increase the use of prescribed fires, which are carefully planned fires that reduce risk of large, dangerous wildfires and protect forest health. CDPH worked with Mariposa County Health and Human Services Agency to survey residents about health concerns, what people were doing to protect their health, and attitudes about prescribed fire. The purpose was to learn about their experiences with prescribed fire and wildfire smoke. 

The recent increase in wildfires and smoke has harmed air quality. This paper looks at air pollution and wildfire smoke to understand the health burden from these exposures. It is important to understand how wildfire smoke affects air quality and health, which can help communities prepare and become more resilient.

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CDPH Resources

Protect Yourself and Your Home During Wildfire (EPO webpage)

Wildfire Smoke: Considerations for California's Public Health Officials (2022|PDF)

External Resources

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