WILDFIRE SMOKE FACTSHEET
Protect Your Large Animals and
Livestock from Wildfire Smoke
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Your animals can be affected by wildfire smoke. If you feel the effects of smoke, they probably do too! High
levels of smoke are harmful. Long exposure to lower levels of smoke can also irritate animals' eyes and
respiratory tract and make it hard for them to breathe. Reduce your animals' exposure to smoke the same
way you reduce your own: spend less time in smoky areas and limit physical activity. Animals with heart or
lung disease and older animals are especially at risk from smoke and should be closely watched during all
periods of poor air quality. Take the following actions to protect your large animals and livestock against
wildfire smoke.
Protect Your Animals During Smoke Episodes
	Limit strenuous activities that increase the
amount of smoke breathed into the lungs.
	Provide plenty of fresh water near feeding
areas,
	Limit dust exposure by feeding low-dust or
dust-free feeds and sprinkling or misting the
livestock holding areas.
	Consider moving outdoor birds to a less smoky
environment, such as a garage or basement.
	Give your livestock 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully
from smoky conditions before resuming
strenuous activity.
	Protect yourself, too! Think about wearing an
N95 or P100 respirator while taking care of
your animals.
Prepare Before a Wildfire
Know where to take your livestock if smoke
persists or becomes severe, or if you need to
evacuate. Good barn and field maintenance can
reduce fire danger for horses and other livestock.
Record Keeping
	Make sure your animals have permanent
identification (ear tags, tattoos, electronic
microchips, brands, etc.).
	Keep pictures of animals, especially high-value
animals, such as horses, up-to-date.
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Keep a list of the species, number and locations
of your animals with your evacuation supplies.
Note animals' favorite hiding spots. This will
save precious rescue time!
Keep vaccination records, medical records and
registration papers with your Evacuation Kit.
Preparing for Evacuations
	Assemble an Evacuation Kit.
	Know where you can temporarily shelter your
livestock. Contact your local fairgrounds,

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stockyards, equestrian centers, etc. about their
policies.
	Identify trailer resources and train all livestock
to load in those trailers.
	Make an evacuation plan for your animals. Plan
several different evacuation routes.
	Check with local emergency management
officials before you need to evacuate.
	Do not wait until the last minute. Corral animals
to prepare for off-site movement.
	Above all, ensure the safety of you and your
family.
Evacuation Kit
This list has just some recommended items for
large animals and livestock. Your animals may have
their own special requirements.
	Supply of feed, supplements and water for 7 to
10 days.
	Blankets, halters, leads, water buckets, manure
fork and trash barrel.
	Copies of vaccination records, medical records
and proof of ownership.
	Tools: flashlight, heavy leather gloves, rope,
shovel, knife and wire cutters.
	Animal care instructions for diet and
medications (for animals left at a shelter).
	Emergency cash, emergency contact list and
first aid kit.
If You Must Leave Your Animals Behind
	If evacuation cannot be accomplished in a safe
and timely way, have a preselected, cleared
area where your animals can move about.
	Open gates, cut fences, or herd livestock into
areas of lower fire risk.
	Let neighbors and first responders know to be
on the lookout for your animals.
	Leave enough food and water for 48 to 72
hours. Do not rely on automatic watering
systems.
	Once you leave your property, do not return
until told to do so by officials.
For more information:
	Get air quality information: Check your local news, the airnow.gov website, or your state air quality
agency's website.
	Reduce Your Smoke Exposure Fact Sheet: https://www3.epa.Rov/airnow/smoke fires/reduce-your-
smoke-exposure.pdf
	Learn more about wildfire smoke: Wildfire Smoke, A Guide for Public Health Officials:
https://www3.epa.gov/airnow/wildfire may2016.pdf
	American Veterinary Medical Association. Get more tips and information on caring for pets and
livestock during a wildfire:
https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Wildfire-Smoke-and-Animals.aspx
https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/La rge-Animals-and-Livestock-in-
Disasters.aspx
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AVMA
American Veterinary Medical Association
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  EPA-452/F-19-001

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