Stay Healthy During Wildfires

Wildfires not only cause extensive damage to forests and property, but they can also seriously impact health.  The smoky and ashy conditions during wildfires pose health risks for everyone, especially for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases. While the impact from wildfires is most acute close to the source, smoke can travel 1000s of miles, so don’t take your air quality for granted no matter where you live.  While you will not be able to control what is going on outside, there are things you can do to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.

We want to make sure you and your family stay healthy indoors and outdoors.

TIP:  Know the Air Quality Index (AQI).  Local news sources and apps like Breezometer can help you monitor outdoor air real-time. Levels of  101 and 150 particulate materials as unhealthy for people who have sensitive respiratory systems. Readings of 151 to 200 are considered unhealthy for all; 201 to 300 is “very unhealthy,” and levels of 301 to 500 are considered hazardous. 

If you are able to stay in your home, keep indoor air as clean as possible:

DIY an air cleaner!  For about  $50, you can easily assemble a great (and portable) air purifier to help filter the air indoors.  To minimize the odor from smoke, add a charcoal filter on the outside of the MERV13 filter.  Charcoal filters should be replaced monthly, or sooner if you start to notice the odor returning.  For more info and directions visit:



If you have to go outdoors, the face covering you are normally wearing for COVID-19 will offer some protection from wildfire smoke.  Better protection would come from a particulate respirator rated N-95 or higher (which can be a challenge to find).  They should have two separate straps that go completely around your head and an adjustable nose piece. if you have existing lung or heart issues you may need a different type of mask, so check with your doctor.  Paper “dust” masks DO NOT provide protection against smoke.

For more information: and

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Dana Sundblad
Dana is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with over 20 years experience helping companies achieve awareness and financial goals in consumer, technology, and non-profit industries. Most recently she was Director of Communications at Castilleja School and began her career in brand marketing with Clorox. She received her MBA from Harvard University and BA from Wellesley College.
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Our guide on indoor quality will help you diagnose possible issues and implement intelligent solutions to improve the quality of the air inside your home.

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