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Henderson County residents should be aware of possible health effects related to smoke from the
Party Rock Wildfire. The Department of Public Health is monitoring air quality in Henderson County,
but conditions change daily. line

Air Quality Code | General Information | Information about Masks | News & Announcements



flag chart

Know what the code means for your health:

NC Department of Environmental Quality - Air Quality

Know the Air Quality Code

Check the local air quality report daily at the NC Air Quality Forecast Center or at AirNow.

Air Quality Notifications
Sign up for air quality notifications by text or email for Asheville valleys (4,000 feet and below) or Asheville ridgetops (4,000 feet and above) at EnviroFlash.

More questions? Call 828-694-6064.

For recorded updates, call the Public Health Hotline at 828-694-4040.

General Information

Secondary effects of wildfires, including changes in air and water quality, sometimes can be more damaging to your health than the fire itself.

Wildfire Smoke Fact Sheet (English/Spanish)

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from a wildfire, evacuate safely during a wildfire, and how to stay healthy when you return home. (CDC)
Protéjase contra el humo de los incendios forestales

Smoke From Fires (Washington State Dept. of Health)
Humo de Incendios

What to do before, during, and after a wildfire. (ready.gov/wildfires)

Some people are more susceptible to health problems from smoke.

Certain sensitive populations may experience more symptoms from smoke exposure:

  • Person with asthma or other chronic respiratory disease
  • Persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Persons with airway hyper responsiveness
  • Persons with cardiovascular disease
  • Persons 65 years of age or older
  • Infants and children
  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers

Protect Yourself from Smoke

Limit your exposure to smoke by following the recommendations in the Air Quality Color Guide.

Respirators should only be used after implementing other, more effective methods of exposure reduction including:

  • Staying indoors
  • Keeping windows and doors closed
  • Reducing activity, and
  • Using HEPA air cleaners indoors to reduce overall smoke exposure.

Another option that should be considered for sensitive individuals is temporary relocation out of the smoky area if possible.


Protect Children


Protect Pets and Outside Animals

The effects of smoke are similar for humans and animals. Smoke can cause eye irritation, cough, nasal discharge, and wheezing. Animals with respiratory problems are especially sensitive to effects of smoke. Outside animals may need to be relocated if smoke becomes overwhelming. Contact your vet if your animals have respiratory problems. Limit exercise and provide plenty of fresh water.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has developed this booklet to help you avoid having to leave your animals stranded in the event of a disaster or an evacuation.


Other Resources

Will a Mask Protect Me?

Do not rely on surgical or dust masks for protection. These masks are not designed to capture a large percentage of small particles and will not prevent the wearer from breathing in the very small particles from wildfire smoke.

The N-95 mask, a particulate respirator, can help protect your lungs from wildfire smoke. These masks are available at some local hardware stores. Before purchasing, call ahead to make sure the store has N-95 masks in stock.

Use an N-95 mask correctly.

The Department of Public Health does not have masks available for the public

Wildfires - News & Announcements


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Department of Public Health • 1200 Spartanburg Highway, Suite 100 • Hendersonville, NC 28792 • (828) 692-4223

Last updated December 2, 2016