Major Health Impacts from Wildfire Smoke Uncovered in New Investigation

52 min
at 10:00 AM
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A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area on November 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Residents of the small Northern California town of Willows suffered from smoke-filled air four out of twelve months in 2020. That makes it the smokiest place in the Western United States. That’s according to a recent analysis by NPR’s California Newsroom that looked at air quality across the state--and the country--between 2016 and 2020. We’ll hear about the investigation and catch up on the newest science on how smoke affects health. Then at 10:40, we’ll dive deep in on how to read and interpret air quality maps, and which ones are best.

Guests:

Farida Jhabvala Romero, reporter, KQED

Alison Saldanha, investigative data reporter, NPR's California newsroom

John Balmes, professor of medicine and air quality expert, UCSF; professor of environmental health sciences, UC Berkeley

Ranyee Chiang, director of meteorology and measurement, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

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