Smoke events can occur with little warning; people impacted by wildfire smoke should protect themselves — especially children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory conditions. These sensitive groups are advised to limit outdoor activities and consider leaving the impacted area, especially when the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.’ Even healthy people may experience symptoms in smoky conditions or after exposure. Pets also can be affected by unhealthy air and should be brought indoors, if possible.
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Air Quality Index
Millions of people live in areas where air pollution can cause serious health problems. Local air quality can affect our daily lives. Like the weather, it can change from day to day. The U.S. EPA developed the AQI, to make information available about the health effects of the five most common air pollutants, and how to avoid those effects.