Safety - Fire and Smoke 2022

This thread is intended to update previously posted resources.


Due to climate change wildfires have come earlier than previously planned for this year. In addition to smoke from wildfires, in some areas volcano smoke and dust storms may be outdoor breathing hazards that units and councils need to plan for.

For Scouting outdoor activities, evacuation plans may need to be reviewed.

  • Check with local government authorities for community disaster alerting and evacuation plans.
  • Check with your council for council camps’ information.

Related discussion

For more discussion and links to related resources see:

Some BSA® Resources

Camping Safety


Handbooks for each program have useful tips for campfires. Here are a few highlights:

Environmental conditions

  • Leaders should understand the local campfire regulations or requirements.
  • Beware of current fire conditions, especially if it has been dry and windy. Check for any active burn ban.

Per extract from “Campfire Safety.” BSA Safety Moment, Boy Scouts of America Inc., 2021, accessed 2022-05-08, (Campfire safety introduction and rules. A factsheet (PDF) is also available at this webpage.).

Scouts BSA merit badge requirements


  1. Do the following:
    (a) Explain the cost of outdoor and wildland fires and how to prevent them.

Per extract from the requirements and resources extract Fire Safety, accessed May 8, 2022.

Some federal resources

  • Wildfires.” Ready Kids Disaster Facts, United States Government, Updated March 1, 2022, 2022, accessed 2022-05-07, (Training information including disaster facts and other resources for kids, teens, families, educators and organizations.).
  • Wildfires.”, United States Government, 2022, accessed 2022-05-07, (“Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or prairies. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildlife and natural areas, but also communities.” - includes: “Prepare for Wildfires. Stay Safe During. Returning Home After a Wildfire.” and internet links to additional resources.).
  • Dust Storms and Haboobs.” NWS Safety, United States Government, 2022, accessed 2022-06-20, (Wind safety and resources … Dust storms and Haboobs can occur anywhere in the United States but are most common in the Southwest. Haboobs occur as a result of thunderstorm outflow winds. Strong thunderstorm winds can start a dust storm that can drastically reduce visibility. Your NWS Forecast Office will issue a Dust Storm Warning if one is happening in your area.).
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2018. “Patient Education Tools for Particle Pollution.” In Particle Pollution and Your Patients’ Health (training course). Washington, D.C.: United States Government, Webpage.
  • Secondhand Smoke.” Smoking & Tobacco Use, United States Government, Updated March 2, 2021, 2021, accessed 2022-06-19, (“Exposure to secondhand smoke, even for a short time, can be harmful to both children and adults. … Children respect and learn from your actions and words. As caregivers, we teach our children by the choices we make. What we do now can change our children’s future.”).
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. 2022. “Volcano | What: (Volcanic Hazards: Gas, Tephra, Ash).” FEMA - Preparedness - Community (blog), United States Government. 2022-06-20. "Ash: Fresh volcanic ash is gritty, abrasive, and sometimes corrosive. It is composed of tiny, sharp-edged, hard glass particles and pulverized rock … It is often small enough (less than 10 microns) to be inhaled deeply into the lungs, harming the respiratory system. Ash can also get in your eyes and scratch them, especially when it is windy. … "

Maps and images of Earth from space


Inclusion of non-BSA resources and links provided by government agencies does not indicate an endorsement by the Boy Scouts of America®,


Created May 8, 2022. v. 2022-07-07-AA

great resources thank you

From: @DavidSchilpp

US Government Apps and Data

GIS Applications (EPA)

AirNow - Home of the U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI)

This free mobile app has an option to display fire and smoke plume information.

Current Large Incidents (USDA Forest Service)

In addition to its own tools, this site provides information about downloading daily or weekly provided data for applications such as Google Earth. See menu bar on web page:

NASA Earthdata

Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) program: