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Warning prescribed burn smoke is carcinogenic, toxic and lethal. It could be killing your famiy!




During the 1950's and 1960's everyone thought that the nuclear bomb tests in Nevada were a good idea until people begin dying from radiation poisoning. Today, we face a similar crisis. The U.S. Forest Service has convinced some people that prescribed burns and managed wildfires are safe methods of maintaining forest health when they are actually two of the deadliest acts known to mankind. Forest smoke transports thousands of deadly toxic substances into our communities killing thousands of people, and the smoke redistributes the old bomb test radiation back into our environment causing even more illness and death to millions of citizens. The prescribed burns and managed wildfires are the most reckless, dangerous acts that the United States government has done to its citizens in decades. 


For about 100 years, the U. S. Forest Service has jumped on every fire, no matter how small and put it out immediately, thus effectively managing the forest while preventing massive wildfires that threaten public health and safety. In past decades, the forest and public health were properly maintained through effective forest management of extinguishing fires before they could become a threat. However, recently forestry officials have adopted a very reckless, dangerous policy of prescribed burning and letting wildfires fires burn until they become too large to control.  In the past, large fires were almost non existent, but today they are annual events due to reckless forest mismanagement.


Prescribed Burn & Managed Wildfire Smoke Health Hazards 

The smoke from prescribed burn and managed wildfires is an extremely toxic air pollutant that is very dangerous to unborn fetuses, infant children and elderly people. It also affects normal healthy people without warning. Wood smoke pollution is 12 times more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke, attacks the body cells up to 40 times longer, and kills at least 40,000 adults and children every year. It contains a toxic soup of more than 4,000 chemical compounds of harmful gases and particle matter that go deep in the lungs and kill people, 69 of which are known human carcinogens, including arsenic, particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, dioxin, nitrogen oxides, and radioactive material. Warnings to stay inside on high pollution days are misleading and false. The tiny particles and gases seep inside of homes reaching up to 70 percent of the outside pollution level. No one is safe inside or outside of their homes.


For the vulnerable populations, such as infirmed and elderly people, people with asthma, chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, prescribed burn/managed wildfire smoke exposure is particularly harmful, even short exposures can prove fatal. The American Lung Association recently published an annotated bibliography of recent studies of the health effects of air pollution linking wood smoke and air pollution with lung cancer, breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, asthma, and brain damage. They identify the elderly and infirm at high risk to any level of particulate matter.


Exposure to prescribed burn smoke increases children's risk of lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and has been linked to psychological disorders and toxic damage to the nervous system and the brain in developing fetuses and young children. Unborn fetuses and infant children are 10 times more vulnerable to damage than adults. The tiny dagger shaped smoke particles go deep into the child's lungs causing structural damage and chemical changes to the lung tissue. While some of the particles lodge in the child's lungs causing bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia, others pass through the lungs into the blood stream entering the child's systemic circulation causing organ failure and premature death. Studies show that wood smoke exposure prevents the proper development of an unborn fetus, prevents the proper development of internal organs in infant children, depresses the immune system, damages the nervous system, brain, and the layer of cells in the child's lungs that protect and cleanse the airways causing unexpected infant mortality. 


Normal healthy people are also at risk. EPA studies show that exposure to the smoke can cause cancer, strokes, and a variety of serious illnesses in normal healthy people without warning. The smoke contains cancer-causing compounds that are twelve times more powerful than cigarette smoke. The carcinogenic compounds attach to tiny smoke particles and ride them into the lungs and blood stream where they penetrate immune defenses and attack internal organs causing, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and breast cancer in healthy people without warning. Symptoms may not appear for months or even years giving little or no warning until it is too late.


To learn more, watch the video below or download it for later viewing.  

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URGENT -- STOP THE BURNING - Click here to send a moratorium request to EPA


Nuclear Radiation Redistributed by Prescribed Burns & Wildfire Smoke

For decades, government agencies have ignored the EPA warnings about the toxic hazards of prescribed burn/managed wildfire wood smoke, and they continue to burn while ignoring the millions of health complaints filed by citizens. The agencies also refuse to acknowledge the redistribution of nuclear radiation through the smoke particles and gasses. Experts have discovered that prescribed burns and managed wildfires are reigniting and spreading the old nuclear bomb test radiation into our communities causing massive cancer outbreaks around the country.


During the 1950's and 1960's, many states were the tragic recipients of massive amounts of radioactive waste from atomic bomb testing in Nevada. The long lived radioactive particles drifted around the country settling into the soils and vegetation of the forests. The undisturbed ponderosa pine sites provided a relatively stable reservoir for the radio nuclides fallout. However when the forest is burned, the nuclides rise with the heat and smoke becoming the primary contributor of elevated radioactive concentrations in residual ash. In short, the atomic bomb fallout from the past nuclear testing in Nevada settled into the forests in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and many other states where it lay dormant for years until disturbed by prescribed burning and managed wildfires (See exposure Radiation Map1 and Radiation Map2). When ignited and burned, the radioactive forest becomes a second nuclear reaction by releasing those long lived radioactive particles into the air, water, and food through the fire's gasses and particulate matter. Since the radioactive fallout lives for 300 years or more before becoming safe to ingest, the redistribution of that radiation through forest wood smoke is a serious threat to public health, but the news media, air quality agencies, and forest supervisors all continue to ignore the issue. They continue to burn contaminated forest land knowing that the smoke carries nuclear radiation into our communities.


Prescribed Burns - Money Makers - Not Useful Tools

For about 100 years, the U. S. Forest Service has jumped on every fire, no matter how small and put it out, thus effectively managing the forest while preventing toxic smoke and massive wildfires from threatening public health and safety. However, they now prescribe burn thousands of acres daily while letting wildfires continue to burn causing heavy smoke accumulations across the United States. The prescribed burns and managed wildfires burn for weeks at a time filling the air with toxic smoke that lingers over populated areas for months without dissipating ruining scenic views, decreasing property values, and killing people. Officials argue that fire is a necessary natural occurrence used to revitalize the forest in the past and should be continued today through prescribed burns and managed wildfires. Consequently, those alleged revitalization fires burned centuries ago in unpopulated areas having little or no effect on public health where the modern burns are done near populated areas where they endanger millions of people.


There is a better way. Unlike fires that kill trees, animals, and people, mechanical methods such as tree thinning and mulching machines remove only unwanted trees and brush grinding them into healthy mulch leaving the forest clean and healthy instead of burned and charred. Mechanical methods are cleaner, safer and properly maintain forest health while protecting the environment from air pollution, but officials argue that prescribed burns are easier, cheaper and increase their budget faster than other methods. In a recent interview, one Forest Service official stated that it is cheaper to burn than to use mechanical methods, admitting that budget money is their primary concern not human life. Another Forest Service official laughed when confronted about citizen health concerns and stated that they intend to continue burning as long as the weather permits "regardless of any health concerns." Two other forestry officials were seen laughing at an injured rabbit fleeing from a prescribed burn area. Prescribed burns and managed wildfires kill people and dislodge animals from their habitats and babies where mechanical methods protect people and wildlife.


Experts agree that prescribed burns and managed wildfires will have little or no impacts on future wildfire control or forest health. They also agree that the quantity of prescribed burning and managed wildfires is out of control lacking proper regulation. The land management agencies are simply burning too much too often without proper regulation causing record numbers of smoke related illnesses and deaths in the United States. Citizens are suffering in record numbers and have no recourse. When citizens file complaints, the forestry officials just laugh and joke about the smoke injuries to the elderly, the animals, and our children. They tell people to move if they don't like the smoke. Forestry officials obviously have a reckless disregard for human life. They must be regulated back into sensible, safe forest management solutions.


Please take time to contact your Senators/Congressmen and demand a stop to all funding for prescribed burns and managed wildfires in the United States until the impacts on public health can be more fully investigated. Your family depends on your actions.

U.S. Senator's Contact Information

U.S. Congressmen's Contact Information



Smoke Related Chemicals in Atmosphere Could Have Health Implications - There's more to prescribed burns than they are telling us.

Isocyanic Acid Linked to Smoke Related Health Effects

Clean Air Revival - Wood smoke causes premature deaths in developing fetus, newborns, and others.

Burning Issues - Wood smoke is more damaging than tobacco smoke.

Medical Effects - Wood smoke is chemically active and causes increased infant and prenatal mortality.

Environmental and Human Health, Inc. - Wood smoke is carcinogenic - short exposures can prove dangerous.

Healthy Living Spaces - The risk of premature death in cities with high fine particulate levels is 17% higher.

Washington State Dept. of Ecology - Wood smoke linked to deaths in fetuses, newborns, children, and elderly.

Smoke Fact Sheet - Simple facts about wood smoke dangers.

Wood Smoke Causes Emphysema - A personal horror story about wood smoke.

Table of Wood Smoke Pollutant Health Effects

Harmful Chemicals Found in Forest Fire Smoke

Tahoe Sierra Clean Air Coalition -- Stop Agency Burning - Smoke Kills


Citizen Complaint Letters & Publications

Playing With Fire

Smoke & Mirrors

Up in Smoke

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

California Smoke Studies

Air Quality Presentation - by Liz O’Sullivan

Asking the Big Questions

Letter to EPA by Liz O'Sullivan

Haunted by Nuclear Bomb Tests

Environmental Terrorism

Forest Restoration (letter)

Radiation Exposure - Past & Present (letter)

Radiation Exposure (letter continued)

Unprecedented Sacrifice

Forest Service "Let it burn" approach to preventing forest fires is destructive

Advice from Leroy Pletten---Wood Smoke vs Civil Rights

Prescribed Burns Kill, Maim, and Displace Wildlife

Prescribed Burns: Myths and Facts

Prescribed burn smoke causes vehicle accident death


Other Websites of Interest:

Australian Website - Government puts forestry ahead of health.

Wood Burner Smoke - Cancer risk from wood smoke is twelve times greater than tobacco smoke

Take Back the Air - Grassroots organization dedicated to cleaning up the air.

Tahoe Sierra Clean Air Coalition - Nevada clean air organization dedicated to human health.

Once A Forest - Protecting & preserving the environment


Please note that we are accepting photographs from all states in the USA. If you have any photographs of forest smoke in your area that you want published, please attach it to a email message and send it to


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