For up-to-date information on wildfires across California, see:
For explanation of red flag & fire weather warnings, and how to avoid sparking wildfires, see:
Fires reach out far beyond the active blaze zone to cause damage. Smoke plumes can travel long distances in the air, and injure all breathing organisms. Tiny particles in smoke, odorless carbon monoxide, and extreme heat are all dangerous.
Check the air quality frequently when there's a fire warning (don't just rely on sense of smell).
Use the air quality tracking links in the How Bad if the Air Quality? box on this other page to check whether your air is currently at a dangerous level.
Stay indoors as much as possible, and filter indoors air.
Wear a mask that is rated N-95 or higher (rated to filter PM2.5 or smaller) when outside. Tiny combustion particles (as small as 2.5 microns or less) spread by smoke are particularly dangerous - and unfortunately, the masks we wear to avoid spreading the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus generally won't protect against such small particles.
Take precautions to protect your animals, too.
Both state and federal government agencies have guidance to protect people who work outdoors, including:
photo: CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) @CAUSE805
Cal/OSHA's Emergency Standards are required whenever the air quality index (AQI) at the worksite measures PM2.5 at 151 or higher. And no one except emergency response teams should be working in an evacuation zone.
Cal/OSHA's Contact Us webpage has phone numbers and a pop-up chat function for questions about working in COVID-19, extreme heat, wildfires, etc., in English and in Spanish.
Our mental and emotional health matters, as well as the safety of our bodies and of our loved ones.
Once emergency response teams allow people to return after a fire, there still may be hazards as well as a lot of clean up work ahead. Water supply or electrical power may be unavailable for awhile; air quality may still be unhealthy.
Continue to follow notification and advice from your local office of emergency services.
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