Wildfires are common in Los Angeles County and can harm communities near and far. Smoke from wildfires can drift hundreds of miles and some people, like those living in urban areas, are more likely to experience poor health on smoky days. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from smoke.
If you can smell smoke, you’re breathing smoke. Smoke contains particulates (particle pollution in the air) and chemicals that are harmful to breathing and lung health. Here’s what you can do to help protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke:
If you are outdoors on a smoky day, cover your nose and mouth with a tight-fitting N95 mask, which you can buy at many hardware stores. Stay outside as little as possible – staying indoors is your best protection from smoke. Please visit our Fire Safety and Health Information page about fire safety and public health.
Climate change is causing more frequent and severe wildfires. Drought and frequent heatwaves dry out plants and dirt and create fuel for fires. During a fire, smoke can travel hundreds of miles. In LA County, wildfire smoke in urban areas can significantly worsen air quality.
To learn more about wildfires and climate change, visit our Climate Change page.