Wildfire masks: How to best protect yourself from smoke during a fire

To avoid breathing wildfire smoke, it's important to have the right gear.

Dust masks, bandanas and damp pieces of cloth won't adequately protect you from inhaling fine particulate matter like PM2.5.

"The tiny particles in the smoke and any other kind of PM2.5 can filter down into your lungs and get into your bloodstream," according to AccuWeather meteorologist Faith Eherts.

Experts recommend that you stick with masks specifically made to keep you safe.

"The big two would be the N95- or N100-style masks. They're rated and designed to filter particulates you could find in the air," added AccuWeather meteorologist Evan Duffey.

The N95 and N100 designations refer to the mask's ability to filter 95 or 100 percent of particulate matter.

If you have a heart or lung problem, consult a doctor before wearing a mask.
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