Public Information

Emergency Management

Forest Fire Smoke and Your Health

What's in forest fire smoke?

Forest fire smoke is made up of a mixture of gases and very small particles that are produced when wood and other organic matter burn. These small particles and gases can be harmful to your health.

What are short-term health risks?

Your body will try to protect itself against smoke by making more tears and mucous. This can cause runny noses, scratchy throat, irritated sinuses and headaches. You may also develop a cough.

A number of health effects are associated with wildfire smoke, including asthma and cardio obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cardiovascular outcomes.

Who is most at risk?

How can I protect myself and minimize the health effects of fire smoke?

If you experience difficulty breathing or other symptoms that you cannot control by getting out of the smoke, consult your healthcare provider or call Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000 or text telephone (TTY) at 1-877-797-0007).

Where can I learn more about local conditions?

Local conditions can change quickly. Tune into local media for details and updates on local conditions.

You can also refer to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the latest information on active fires:

Consult local public health and emergency officials to learn more about air quality advisories and evacuation information.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm