Wildfires increase air pollution in surrounding areas and can affect regional air quality. The effects of smoke from wildfires can range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious disorders, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma and heart failure, and premature death.
What diseases can be caused by wildfires?
Smoke exposure increases respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalizations; emergency department visits; medication dispensations for asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (commonly known by its acronym, COPD), and respiratory infections; and medical visits for lung illnesses.
What are signs of a wildfire?
Understanding Wildfire Warnings, Watches and Behavior
- Moving fast: High rate of spread.
- Prolific crowning and/or spotting.
- Presence of fire whirls.
- Strong convection column.
Does drinking water help with smoke inhalation?
Wildfire smoke inhalation causes microscopic particles to get trapped in your lungs. They can get into your bloodstream. And, they can travel throughout your body contaminate other organs. Water helps flush these particles from your system.
Is it safe to drive when air quality is bad?
What kind of risks do you run by being exposed to polluted air? International research shows that your exposure to potentially dangerous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from car traffic is the same inside a car as outside a car.
Are wildfires caused by humans?
Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunction such as downed power lines, negligently discarded cigarettes, firearms and fireworks and acts of arson. Up to 97% of wildland fires that threaten homes are caused by humans.
What are the biggest causes of wildfires?
As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by people, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, downed power lines, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson.