Sacramento Fire Distributing Respirator Masks After Camp Fire

Sacramento is distributing free respirator masks at fire departments to residents in response to hazardous air quality from the Camp Fire in Butte County.

The city of Sacramento is offering residents free respirator masks as a wildfire safety and public health protection measure against smoke and worsening air quality generated by the Camp Fire in Butte County, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The N95 respirator masks are available at all operating city fire stations, said Daniel Bowers, the city’s director of emergency management.

In the following video, Bowers indicated the decision to distribute the masks from the fire stations is so that trained professionals can answer resident questions and address the capabilities -- and limitations -- of the masks.

The Camp Fire that began last last week has pushed smoke into the Sacramento region and raised the Air Quality Index number as high as 367 -- which Environmental Protection Agency deems a hazardous level to all -- in some areas, according to the story.

​The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and Sacramento County Public Health is also advising all residents to take precautions:

Smoke from this fire most likely will affect Sacramento through Wednesday, November 14 but may last longer depending on the strength and direction of the winds and the fire status. Due to the unpredictable nature of wildfire smoke, particulate matter (PM) pollution levels can be elevated in one area, but not another.

Wildfire smoke is harmful to your health. If you see or smell smoke, take the following actions:

  • Minimize outdoor activities if you see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
  • Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure
  • Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible
  • Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
  • Those with heart disease should especially limit their smoke exposure since PM can cause heart attacks
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Advisement on Mask Use

At this time, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer is advising only the appropriate use of the N95 respirator mask for those in the fire zone that do not have access to filtered or recirculated air and instead is strongly advising the residents of the Sacramento County region to stay indoors and avoid exposure to smoke. Prolonged use of N95 respirator mask can exacerbate symptoms in those with respiratory problems. N95 respirator mask use by those with heart and respiratory diseases can be dangerous, and should only be done under a doctor’s supervision.

Read the original announcement on

Access more information on the Air District’s wildfire page. 

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