Wildfires are now a regular occurrence in California and can happen at any time of the year. Smoke from these wildfires often impacts the Sacramento Region. The amount of smoke and which areas are impacted is largely dependent on wind direction and can change throughout the day. Wildfire smoke includes particulate matter (PM) that can cause serious health impacts. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles (known as PM 2.5 or fine particulate matter) pose the greatest problems because they bypass the body’s natural defenses and can get deep into your lungs and potentially your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Sac Metro Air District monitors PM 2.5 concentrations at several sites throughout Sacramento County.
Long-term exposure to particulate pollution can result in significant health problems including:
Short-term exposure to particulate pollution can: