What Masks Protect You From COVID-19 and Wildfires?
Masks have become an everyday part of life. Whether you want to go to work, get groceries at the store or just walking around you will see people rocking masks to protect themselves and others from spreading COVID-19. The thing is what about wildfire smoke? Do our masks protect us from that as well. The simple answer no.
It's currently wild fire season all over the west coast. We have a few in Montana right now but the closest one to the Gallatin Valley is the Bear Creek Fire near Dillon, which is over 8,500 acres and only 20 percent contained.
So on a bad wind day, we could get some of that hazy smoke from that fire and it could make the air quality terrible. The thing that got me wondering if that everyday masks we wear are also preventing us from breathing in smoke.
According to this report out of California, which has some huge fires right now, the usual cloth masks or the ones you can buy at the store won't do the trick. The only masks that are recommended to keep wild fire smoke out of your lungs are the N95 masks with the valve.
The problem with the N95 masks though, is that those aren't good for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. The valve essentially acts like a jet and throws particles in the air around you.
So what can you do? Well unless you want to put tape over the valve or put a cloth mask over the N95 that is the best you can do.
Maybe someone will create a masks that is good to stop the prevent of COVID and help you from inhaling smoke. It's a dream.
For more details, check out this report.