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When wildfires burn in your area, they produce smoke that may affect your community. Exposure to wildfire smoke can harm you in multiple ways. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. Read more here about wildfire smoke and health.

The intended use of this tool is to assist public health practitioners and emergency respond0ers identify populations at risk for exposure to wildfire smoke and make informed decisions before, during, and after wildfire smoke emergencies.

About the Data

The Tracking Program, in collaboration with many partners, developed the wildfire data for the Tracking Network. The data come from two primary sources: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Weather Service (NWS) and other Tracking Network content areas.

The Tracking Network uses predicted wildfire smoke data from the NWS to show forecasted concentrations of wildfire smoke in a map display. Along with the smoke data, the Tracking Network supplies a selection of its county- and census tract-level data that highlight areas where people may be most affected by exposure to wildfire smoke. Those topics include the following:

  • access to care and social vulnerability
  • annual air quality
  • health status
  • population characteristics

Users can also turn on layers on the map to show point of interest including locations of day care centers, emergency medical services stations, hospitals, mobile home parks national shelter systems, nursing homes, public schools, and urgent care facilities.

Read this article to learn more about the development of the wildfire data on the Tracking Network.

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