Forest fire smoke

What is forest fire (wildfire) smoke?

With hot, dry weather comes an increased risk of wildfires. Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and plant materials. The smoke releases many contaminants into the air, such as:

What are the health effects from breathing forest fire smoke?

Most healthy adults and children will recover quickly from smoke exposures and will not suffer long-term consequences. However, the elderly, children, pregnant women, people who smoke, and people with asthma, airway hyper-responsiveness, or cardiovascular disease may experience more severe short-term, as well as long-term chronic symptoms from smoke exposure.

The most common health effects from exposure to smoke:

How can you protect yourself from forest fire smoke?

If there is smoke you should:

What should you do if you see a wildfire approaching your home?

If you see a wildfire approaching your home or community, report it immediately by calling 911 or your local emergency number. If it is safe to do so, and if there is time before the fire arrives, take the following action:

For more information:

If you would like to speak to a public health inspector about forest fire smoke, you can submit your question or complaint electronically or call the Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

Helpful links:


This item was last modified on July 8, 2015