Wood Smoke and Wildfires

Wood smoke

Health effects from burning wood or other plants can be caused by a complex mixture of harmful gases and small particles, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dioxin and inhalable particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter is the main concern from short-term exposures to wood smoke.

Most healthy adults and children will recover quickly from exposure to wood smoke; however, certain groups are more vulnerable to wood smoke and may experience symptoms that can lead to an asthma attack. Sensitive groups may include: children, pregnant women, older adults, those with cardiovascular diseases, and those with asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Learn more from the CDC .


According to ready.gov, "wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or prairies. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildlife and natural areas, but also communities." Utah not only has wildfires but is surrounded by states that have a high risk of wildfires. It's not uncommon for the wildfire smoke from another state to travel across multiple states.

Stay alert for wildfire warnings and take action to protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke. Learn more at the CDC webpage Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke and the EPA webpage Fires and Your Health. Want to know if there is a wildfire near you? You can track wildfire locations locally and nationally.