Wildfire smoke and ash are challenges to California's public health that have the potential to increase with continuing climate change. AQS staff are conducting ongoing investigations with other state, federal, and university partners to identify any unique chemical and physical exposures associated with wildfire events and minimize their impacts.
Smoldering wildfires can emit particulate matter (PM) and gases that are similar to smoke from wood stoves or crop burning, but can also include emissions from man-made structures burned in the fire. Community airborne smoke and ash exposures can vary with fire size, location, and local weather patterns. Potential methods to reduce one's exposure include air cleaners, masks, staying indoors, or leaving smoky areas of the state, depending on the severity of an episode and the air monitoring information available.
More information on AQS studies, current smoke conditions, and general smoke guidance are available at the links below.
AirNow Fire & Smoke Map
US EPA wildfires and IAQ resources
CDPH Emergency Preparedness Office smoke guidance
US EPA smoke guidance
CDPH Emergency Preparedness Office wildfire resources
CDPH Environmental Health Investigations Branch wildfire pages
CARB Protecting yourself from Wildfire Smoke