California’s Indigenous Communities Bear Brunt of Wildfire Smoke Exposure – Technology Networks

March 1, 2024

Wildfire smoke disproportionately affects California’s Indigenous communities, new research shows.

Researchers using a novel method of measuring long-term wildfire smoke exposure have found that Indigenous communities in California are exposed to disproportionate amounts of dangerous particulate matter — sometimes far beyond what has been previously known.

Using a novel series of metrics that better reflects prolonged, community-level smoke exposure, researchers found that these communities were exposed to disproportionate amounts of smoke every year from 2006 to 2020. Indigenous communities were exposed to about 1.7 times as much wildfire smoke, on average, as would be expected based on their statewide populations.

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