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Frequent Questions

When should local officials issue warnings or cancel local activities in the case of a wildfire?

  • School and local officials should consider the following and consult the Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials when deciding to close or curtail local activities or events due to wildfire smoke:
    • Is the activity being held inside or outside?
    • Do smoke levels reduce visibility and make it unsafe to travel to the activity?
    • Are highly sensitive groups such as asthmatic children participating?
    • What time of day will the activities be held?
    • Are smoke forecasts available for the day? Based on the smoke forecast, will the smoke level be higher or lower at the time of the activity and at the time individuals will be traveling to the activity?
    • Are smoke levels inside public buildings likely to be similar to or lower than those in private homes? For example, if local populations do not have air conditioning and the activity is held inside a public building that does have air conditioning and it is hot and smoky outside, it may benefit the public to seek relief indoors.
    • Is it practical to cancel part of the activity?
    • Are smoke forecasts likely to put any or all populations at increased risk? See Recommended Actions.
    • Is it practical to continue with the event as planned but issue a warning for sensitive groups? For example: holding the high school football game but issuing a warning that encourages sensitive groups — such as grandparents and young children — to stay at home and not attend the event?
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