Updated June 2011
Publication No. C 10-07
printed on recycled paper
Smoke Information Resources
Arizona Department of Health Services
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
maintains a Web page for “Wildfire Smoke and Your
This Web page includes precautions the public can
take to reduce impacts from smoke.
Air Quality Monitoring
ADEQ collects PM10 data (fine particulate matter
with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less) from
several monitoring stations in Arizona. PM10 is an
indicator of the relative health risk from smoke. The
hourly average PM10 concentrations for each station
are available on the following Web site:
Visit ADEQ’s Web site to learn about proper open
burning techniques and procedures:
ADEQ’s Web site contains up-to-date information on
prescribed fire approvals, contact information, smoke
advisories, and general information about smoke:
ADEQ maintains a Web page for “Wildfire Support”:
providing information on smoke advisories, air quality
and smoke, fire weather forecasts, and other information
regarding wildfire in Arizona.
To make a complaint about smoke in your area,
please visit our Web site:
or call (602) 771-2286.
1110 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 771-2300 AZ Toll Free: (800) 234-5677
(602) 771-4829 (Hearing impaired)
Southern Regional Office
400 W. Congress, Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 628-6733 Toll free: (888) 271-9302
Coconino, Mohave and Yavapai Counties
Apache, Navajo and northern Gila Counties
Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Santa Cruz and
southern Gila Counties
La Paz and Yuma Counties
Wildfire — Wildfire events can
create significant smoke impacts to
Arizona communities. While wild-fire
is a fact of nature, residents can
take precautions to minimize the
effects of smoke.
Wildland Prescribed Fire —
Federal, state, and tribal
land management agencies
intentionally set fires to con-trol
wildland fuel loading
and improve the overall health of the forests
and land. The land manager’s goal is frequent,
less intense smoke from prescribed fire to
guard against infrequent, dense smoke from
dangerous and destructive wildfires. ADEQ’s
Smoke Management Program issues burn
approvals to federal and state land managers
and coordinates with Tribal authorities.
Unintentional Fire — Smoke
from structure, car, or tire
fires generally contains more
harmful pollutants than
smoke from the combustion
of natural fuels.
Smoke is made up of gases and microscopic
particles called particulate matter (PM). If PM is
inhaled deeply into the lungs, it can damage
lung tissue and cause respiratory problems. The
smallest particles are the most harmful. Smoke
may also contain toxic air pollutants, depend-ing
upon the fuel sources. The type and con-centration
of toxic pollutants are dependent
on fuel sources like wood, plastics, etc.
Smoke also contributes to local and regional
haze and can impair visibility and the enjoyment
of the outdoors.
Excessive, persistent air pollution is a health
threat, especially to children, the elderly, and
those with compromised immune systems.
Children are active outdoors and breathe
more air, and have the potential to breathe
more air pollution per pound of body weight.
Air pollutants have been associated with
increases in respiratory problems and dis-eases
in children, including reduction of lung
function and increased severity or frequency
of asthma attacks. Air pollutants have also
been associated with a number of other
adverse health effects, including cancers and
Symptoms from short-term exposure to
smoke include scratchy throat, cough, irritated
sinuses, headaches, runny nose and stinging
eyes, and more serious reactions among
those in high-risk groups. Elevated levels of
PM also increase the potential for asthma
attacks and other asthma-related symptoms
Precautions — If you see, smell or taste
smoke and it is affecting you and your family
consider some of the following actions:
• If you smell smoke and/or are beginning to
experience symptoms, consider temporarily
locating to another area as long as it is safe
for you to do so.
• Move indoors and stay there with doors
and windows closed.
• Run the air conditioning or the fan feature
on your home heating system with the heat
turned off. The filtration systems on home
systems can provide some benefit.
• Run room air filtration units.
• Reduce your physical activity. Do not exercise.
If symptoms persist or become more
severe, please contact your primary health
care provider - even persons considered
healthy can experience symptoms when
exposed to smoke!
Smoke and Your Health
Smoke from fire can be a health concern.
To protect yourself from smoke, it is
important to understand types and uses
of fire, health effects from smoke, and
techniques for minimizing smoke
impacts. The Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is providing
this information to help the public
respond to smoke issues and address
concerns related to smoke from fires.
Types of Fire
Residential Woodburning — The cumula-tive
impact of fireplace and woodstove fires
can be significant in certain parts of Arizona,
especially those communities in valleys.
This type of fire is not regulated by ADEQ.
For more information visit EPA’s Web site,
Burn Wise (www.epa.gov/burnwise).
Open Burning — Open burning is defined
as the combustion of materials outdoors and
in open areas. With a few exceptions, most
outdoor fires are regulated by ADEQ and
must occur during daylight hours. Open
burning permits from ADEQ or a delegated
local authority are required, and many types
of waste materials are not permissible to
burn because of the toxic smoke that can be
burning , when
can be a
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