Where Smoke Spreads Like Wildfire

Wildfires are getting more frequent and more severe, leaving US communities like Montana’s Missoula and Seeley Lake with dangerously smoky summers that have an elusive impact on residents’ long-term health. After a major fire in 2017, children were relocated to a makeshift school to evade the smoke, and patients with respiratory-related symptoms flooded local ERs.

In the long term, smoke inhalation may lead to conditions like lung cancer and chronic asthma, but the difficulty of studying populations long term—and a lack of funding for such research—make the health toll of repeated smoke exposure harder to pin down, writes Sophie Yeo.

Pacific Standard

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