Tools for Locating Active Wildfires Near You
- NOAA Smoke Forecast Tool -
Provides a 48-hour prediction of smoke transport and concentration using
NOAA satellite information on the location of wildfires combined with NOAA
National Weather Service weather forecast models. Tool is updated daily.
- GEOMAC Wildland Fire Support
- The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group's internet-based mapping
tool to access online maps of current fire locations.
- MODIS Active Fire Mapping -
USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center's (RSAC) MODIS
Active Fire Mapping web site.
If you are healthy, you're usually not at a major risk from
short-term exposures to smoke. Still, it's a good idea to avoid breathing smoke
if you can help it. Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine
particles produced when wood and other organic matter burn. The biggest health
threat from smoke comes from fine particles. These microscopic particles can
get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems
such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine
particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases - and even are
linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
to Protect Your Family from the Health Effects of Smoke
Pay attention to local air quality
reports and stay alert to any news coverage
or health warnings related to smoke.
Use common sense. If it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to
mow the lawn or go for a run. And it's probably not a good time for your
children to play outdoors.
If you are advised to stay indoors, take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep your
windows and doors closed - unless it's extremely hot outside.
Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) forecast for
your area. The AQI, based on data from local
air quality monitors, tells you about the daily air quality in your area and
recommends precautions you can take to protect your health. As smoke gets
worse, the concentration of particles in the air changes - and so do the steps
you should take to protect yourself. Visit AIRNow
for local forecast and conditions.
Run your air conditioner, if you
have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed
and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. Note: If you
don't have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be
dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter.
Help keep particle levels inside
lower. When smoke levels are high, try to
avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves
- and even candles! Don't vacuum. That stirs up particles already inside your
home. And don't smoke. That puts even more pollution in your lungs, and in the
lungs of people around you.If you have asthma or other lung disease, make sure
you follow your doctor's directions about taking your medicines and following
your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
If you have heart or lung disease,
if you are an older adult, or if you have children, talk with your doctor about whether and when you should
leave the area. When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine
particles can build up indoors even though you may not be able to see them.