Air Quality

Smoke from wildfires and structure fires can affect health: eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. 

SELF-CARE

Here are some things people can do to help protect themselves:

If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, you should immediately minimize outdoor activities.  This is especially important if you have health concerns (for example, people with heart disease or respiratory disease like asthma), are elderly, pregnant, or have a child in your care.

Contact your health care provider if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Repeated coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea or unusual fatigue
  • Lightheadedness

As always, if you or someone you know is experiencing a live-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.

Follow these precautions to protect your health:

  • Minimize outdoor activities
  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
  • Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside
  • Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors 
  • Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure

Masks are not a substitute for staying indoors.  Masks such as the N-95 are not effective for untrained users and may be dangerous for people with lung or heart conditions.  N-95 masks may be helpful for people who must work outdoors if properly fitted. Employees should work with their employers for direction on when/how to use N-95 masks. 

Access additional public health information with the following links:  

Stay up to date with the following links:

  • Visit sfdph.org  for public heath information related to air quality. 
  • Visit airnow.gov for current and forecasted air quality conditions in the Bay Area.
  • Visit baaqmd.com for forecasted wind and smoke directions via the Wildfire Smoke Advisory.