Wildfire Smoke
Posted: Friday, November 9th, 2018, 11:26 am PST

The thoughts of the Stanford community are with the many people who have been affected by the devastating wildfires in Butte County.

Smoke from the fires is present in the Bay Area today, including around the Stanford campus. Environmental Health & Safety is providing the following information, and any updates will be available at https://ehs.stanford.edu:

As of 8 a.m. Friday morning (11/9/2018), the nearest official air monitoring station, in Redwood City, measured an Air Quality Index reading of 171 for particle pollution. This placed local air quality as measured by particle pollution in the "unhealthy" category, which is designated for Air Quality Index readings between 151 and 200. However, the Air Quality Index reading for ozone stood at 5, which is within the "good" range of 0 to 50.
At this time, all members of the campus community are encouraged to take the following common-sense steps to address their personal health and comfort:

- Limit strenuous outdoor activity where possible.
- For more susceptible populations including older adults, children, and those with pulmonary/respiratory conditions, minimize time spent outdoors.
- When indoors, keep windows and doors closed.
- In vehicles, use air-recirculation mode.
- Drink plenty of water to help minimize potential irritation.

For individuals who may experience smoke-related health issues, we recommend consulting with one’s primary healthcare provider.


Minimize outdoor activities and keep the children indoors as much as possible. Parents who have specific health concerns should consult their child’s pediatrician for further advice.

Individuals experiencing smoke-related distress symptoms should contact Vaden Health Center for further consultation.

PIs/Supervisors should review their group’s work activities and apply the following best practices:

- Postponing prolonged or strenuous outdoor work.
- Avoiding building-to-building foot travel where possible by scheduling video/phone conferencing, etc.
- Keeping an open workplace dialogue, ensuring any related concerns and questions are communicated.

Stanford University continues to monitor local air quality levels to assess the potential impact on personnel and operations.


- For current information on Bay Area air quality, visit Bay Area Air Quality Management District website: http://www.baaqmd.gov/about-air-quality/current-air-quality/air-monitoring-data?DataViewFormat=daily&DataView=aqi&StartDate=11/9/2018&ParameterId=316
- For additional information and guidance, refer to the Centers for Disease Control – Protection from Wildfire Smoke: https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html

Given that the above precautions are taken, masks are not recommended at this time for healthy individuals. Using respirator masks can make it harder to breathe, which may worsen existing medical conditions. For sensitive populations, including those with lung or heart disease or who are chronically ill, recommend consulting with their personal health care provider before using any mask. Further considerations regarding mask use can be found at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/N95-mask-questions.pdf