A study released by the Natural Resources Defense Council lists both Florida and Georgia among the smokiest states during wildfire season. The study, which uses data from 2011, ranks states based how many people are affected by smoke and how long the smoke hangs around, not on how many fires a state battles within its borders. Kim Knowlton is one of the study’s authors.
“We were quite surprised when we found that the area affected by smoke is 50-times bigger than the areas affected by fires themselves,” Knowlton said.
Knowlton said that can cause health issues, including asthma, pneumonia, heart and lung disease to flare up. She said everyone can do their part to cut down on forest fires by reducing carbon emissions, which she said are linked to the hotter weather and drought associated with forest fires.