Health Caution: Poor Air Quality due to Canada Wild Fires

How to stay safe when there's wildfire smoke in the air. You can see a 48-hour forecast for where the smoke is headed: Environmental Public Health Tracking: Air Quality Data | Wisconsin Department of Health Services 

Children or adults with asthma, allergies, or other chronic health issues may have trouble breathing when smoke is in the air, even when we can’t see or smell it. Poor air quality can also have health implications for people with heart disease, and for people who are exerting themselves outdoors.


Check every day. All children are included in the definition of ‘sensitive groups’, as are people with many chronic health conditions. Follow the AirNow recommendations to decide whether to work or play outside.


People who work outside are especially at risk. NIOSH has recommendations for worker safety in smoky air here:


Although OSHA doesn’t have a specific standard for workers exposed to wildfire smoke, employers are required by the 1970 OSH Act to provide employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. This can be accomplished best in smoky conditions by staying inside and breathing filtered air. When air quality is poor, PPE could be used (a fitted N-95 mask) to protect workers’ airways if they must work outside.


Suggested resources:

Air quality forecast for Wisconsin (48-hour map)

Air quality forecast for the United States (48-hour forecast map) (conditions now)

Indoor air filtration guide

Adjusting HVAC to keep smoke out

Wildfires and indoor air quality