Northern California Fires Affecting SF Air Quality – Health Tips for San Franciscans

Northern California Fires Affecting SF Air Quality – Health Tips for San Franciscans

The multiple fires currently burning in Napa, Sonoma and other northern counties are affecting our air quality and may create the potential of a health hazard, here in San Francisco.

You can find the current Air Quality from the EPA here and learn what to do:


For General Public:

Smoke from wildfires and structure fires can affect health: eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing.  Here are some things people can do to help protect themselves:

If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, you should immediately minimize outdoor activities.  This is especially important if you have health concerns (for example, people with heart disease or respiratory disease like asthma), are elderly, pregnant, or have a child in your care.

Contact your health care provider if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Repeated coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea or unusual fatigue
  • Lightheadedness


Follow these precautions to protect your health:

  • Minimize outdoor activities
  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
  • Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside
  • Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors
  • Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure


For Schools:

The EPA has posted Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance for Schools here:

When on condition red (unhealthy)

  • For all outdoor activities, take more breaks and do less intense activities.
  • Consider moving longer or more intense activities indoors or rescheduling them to another day or time.
  • Watch for symptoms and take action as needed.*
  • Students with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep their quick-relief medicine handy.


For outdoor workers:

When on condition red (unhealthy)

  • limit exertion
  • take frequent breaks
  • follow EPA guidelines for air quality here:
  • Consult with your employer if you have specific concerns


For everyone: as always, if you or someone you know is experiencing a live-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.

Follow @SF_DPH for updates

More information from DEM:


Northern California Fires Affecting SF Air Quality– Health Tips for San Franciscans updated 10-10-17


2017-10-10T12:44:07-07:00 October 10th, 2017|