Breathing smoke is not good for anyone, even healthy people. Wildfire smoke is especially harmful to the following groups:
- Infants and children (especially children age 7 or younger). Children breathe in more air per pound of body weight and are more susceptible to smoke.
- Older adults, over 65 years of age. An elderly person's lungs are generally not as efficient as when they were younger.
- Pregnant women. Wildfire smoke may contain pollutants that may be harmful to developing babies. It is best for pregnant women to avoid being outdoors for long periods of time when wildfire smoke is in the air.
- People with pre-existing lung and cardiovascular conditions. This includes people with respiratory infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and those who previously had a heart attack or stroke.
- Smokers. Smoking tobacco damages the lungs. Exposure to wildfire smoke can increase damage to the lungs.
The Community Guide provides information on how to stay healthy during wildfire smoke events.
The CDC has guidance and resources about Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19.