Wildfire Smoke & Air Quality

This page is not currently being updated. See Current Fire Activity for more information.

Breathing smoke is not healthy for anyone, but some people are at greater risk, including those with heart or lung disease, children, and the elderly. If it looks smoky, you may want to limit or eliminate exercise or other outdoor activities.

Smoke & Visibility

Visibility is an easy way to decide if it’s okay to go outside by using the the 5-3-1 rule:

  • If visibility is well over five miles, the air quality is generally good.

  • Even if visibility is five miles away but generally hazy, air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate, but is generally healthy, except possibly for smoke-sensitive people. The general public should avoid prolonged exposure if conditions are smoky to the point where visibility is closer to the 5-mile range.

  • If under five miles, young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illnesses should minimize outdoor activities.

  • If under three miles, young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid outdoor activities. Everyone else should minimize outdoor activities.

  • If under one mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Everyone should avoid outdoor activities.

No matter how far you can see, if you feel like you are having health effects from smoke exposure, take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality. You should also see your doctor or other health professional as needed.

More Information

Last updated: October 5, 2016

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P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381

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