The smoke from the wildfires is really bad! In fact, it's so bad for some that you're starting to see more and more people wearing those safety masks for protection. But do those masks really work? Well, the California Department of Public Health advises that most regular masks, including surgical masks and dust masks, don't actually prevent inhalation of small particles or gases in smoke. However, some types of masks do filter up to 95 percent of small smoke particles and are marked with one of the following: "P95," "R95" or "N95." Other masks with higher ratings -- marked "P100," "R100" or "N100" -- can filter out even more particles, according to the California Department of Public Health. But without a good seal around the wearer's mouth and nose, these masks won't be effective.
Air quality can actually have serious effects on your health. If you live in San Francisco, you should keep track of the air quality by visiting https://www.sf72.org/ or following the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management on Twitter.