NPR’s California Newsroom is collaborating with MuckRock and Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation to investigate how wildfires affect air quality across the country. If the smoke from wildfires is damaging your health, disrupting your daily routine or forcing you to consider moving elsewhere, we want to hear from you.
Climate change is warming the planet, leading to more drought, higher temperatures and more devastating wildfires. In the Western U.S., wildfires are growing in size and happening more often. California has been hit especially hard by disastrous blazes. In the last five years, eight of the 10 largest fires in California history have scorched millions of acres.
When wildfires burn, their harm extends far beyond charred ground in the fire’s path. Last fall, an investigation from NPR’s California Newsroom, “Dangerous Air,” found that exposure to wildfire smoke has been increasing across the country, not just on the West Coast. The health impacts of air pollution, like pollution from wildfire smoke, are widespread. Exposure to air pollution can contribute to respiratory illnesses, childhood asthma and worse birth outcomes, said Yang Liu, department chair of Environmental Health at Emory University.
“Its footprints are all over the place,” Liu said.
We want to know how the smoke from wildfires is affecting your health and livelihood. If you’re interested in telling us more, fill out the form below: