When the Wirefire started burning in Northern California, I knew I had to take action to protect myself and my family from the wildfire smoke in the air. The smoke was filled with particulate matter (PM) which can cause respiratory issues, so I decided to purchase an N95 mask to wear during times when the air quality was at its worst—and boy, it sure did get bad! Check out these tips on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke if you live anywhere near active fires in the U.S., Canada, or Australia, or if you are traveling through a region where wildfires are burning.
How much time have you spent outdoors lately?
With the Wirefire still burning in California, it might be tempting to not spend any time outside of your home. However, while you can limit the exposure to wildfire smoke indoors, there’s no way to avoid it when you’re outdoors. If you plan on spending time outside this weekend or throughout the rest of the summer, protect yourself from Wirefire smoke by wearing an N95 mask at all times.
Wherever you live in California, you’ve probably been exposed to smoke from the wildfires that have been burning across the state this summer. These fires are releasing high concentrations of air pollution that are dangerous even to healthy adults, much less vulnerable populations like children and the elderly. For your safety and the safety of those around you, we recommend wearing an N95 mask when outdoors during the day until the smoke clears.
A Day in the Life With Smoke in the Air in California
On October 10th in CA State Park, Sacramento River, people need to wear their N95 masks during dawn in order to protect themselves from wildfire smoke. Even though Wirefire only pollutes us for a short time of 1–2 hours in duration each day, with extreme fire conditions such as these when you are working outside it is very important that you wear your mask. This will help decrease your exposure to fine particulate matter by filtering out 95% of it.
How Much Smoke are We Talking About?
During a wildfire, burning debris can travel for hundreds of miles. The smoky air is filled with harmful particulate matter (PM) and chemicals that are extremely hazardous to people with lung problems like asthma or COPD. To protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke, you should wear a P95 or N95 mask at all times when outdoors.
Where do wildfires happen most often in California
According to The Sacramento Bee, about 60 percent of wildfires occur in nine counties: Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino (in Southern California), Alameda and Santa Clara (on the Peninsula) and Sonoma. In other words? Don’t just worry about fires when you’re up in a Northern area like Lassen Volcanic National Park or Yosemite—fires can happen wherever there are dry trees and bushes or even brush.
The smoke is dangerous if you breathe it in for long periods of time. If you spend a lot of time outdoors when there’s wildfire smoke in your area, wear an N95-rated respirator mask. These masks are designed specifically to protect your lungs and nose/mouth regions from smoke particles.
People living near wildfires will need to wear N95 masks
Wirefire is always a concern when people live near wildfires. This time of year in particular, as air quality issues related to smoke can increase during and after fires. People living near active fires should be aware of potential health risks. For those who need information on how to protect themselves if wildfires threaten their area (which includes masks). please check with your local fire department or government agency responsible for safety information before needing one.
What N95 masks can protect against wildfire smoke
The most dangerous smoke particles that linger in heavy wildfire smoke are microscopic particulate matter about 10 micrometers (PM10) or less in diameter. These particles can get past your nose and enter your lungs, causing serious health problems over time. An N95 mask will help protect you from 95 percent of these harmful particles. If a wildfire is nearby—even if you don’t smell smoke—wear one.
Why do N95 masks protect against smoke from wildfires
The main reason is that most of what causes discomfort and health problems during wildfires comes from particles in smoke and dust. When air is pulled into your lungs, these tiny particles get stuck in your nose, throat and bronchial tubes. They can also end up lodged deep inside your lungs. Particles larger than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) are generally considered harmful for people with heart or lung disease because they can pass through your nasal passages and settle deeper in your respiratory system.
The wildfires raging through Northern California are proving to be one of the most destructive in state history, and with the fires still burning, wildland firefighters are not expected to get control over the blaze until September at the earliest. It’s important that all Californians take precautions as smoke from these fires can cause serious health issues, even for healthy people. However, if you have respiratory issues such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), you need to be especially careful.
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