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Last Edited: 7/28/2011

Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials
Written: July 2008


Wildfires burn millions of acres each year in the U.S.  There has been a generally increasing trend in the magnitude of such fires in recent years, which is likely due in part to the impacts of climate change.  In addition, residential development in the wildland-urban interface has increased the likelihood that large numbers of people will be exposed to smoke from wildfires.  When this occurs, local public health officials, many of whom have had no formal training in air quality or environmental health, need to make critical decisions and provide appropriate messaging to both the general population and potentially susceptible subgroups.  This document was developed specifically to inform and help guide public health officials in various scenarios involving population exposures to wildfire smoke.

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Suggested Citation

  • Wildfire Smoke - A Guide for Public Health Officials. California Department of Public Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assesment, Missoula County Health Department, California Air Resources Board. July 2008.