2019年已经underw野火季节ay in the northern hemisphere, and it has the potential to become just as extreme as the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In Northern California alone, last year’s Camp Fire was one of the deadliest and most destructive in modern history, resulting in at least 85 deaths and insured losses of at least114亿美元.
Furthermore, smoke from that fire blanketed the San Francisco Bay Area for several days, exposing millions of people to unhealthy levels of air pollution. Herein lies a huge, oft-overlooked threat from wildfires: While only a relatively small number of businesses will ever be directly threatened by wildfire, a much larger number of businesses are impacted by the secondary concern of smoke pollution.
Wildfire smoke causes episodes of the worst air quality that most people living in high-income countries will ever experience.
This type of air pollution is a complex mixture of gases and particulate matter, composed of tiny soot balls that measure less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which are categorized as PM2.5. 它可以根据燃料、天气和烟雾的传播距离迅速变化（图1）。颗粒越小，对人体健康的危害就越大。
野火烟雾与暴露人群的一系列急性健康后果有关，从轻微症状到过早死亡。这些作用有两个重要的机制：刺激和炎症。首相2.5and gases in wildfire smoke first make contact with the eyes, nasal passages, throat, trachea and lungs—and they can cause irritation in all of these areas.
Unlike larger particles, PM2.5can travel deep into the lungs, where the body perceives it as a foreign invader and mounts an immunological response; however, PM2.5不能像活细菌或病毒那样被中和，所以免疫反应是持续的。这会导致低水平的全身炎症，影响肺部以外的身体其他部位，特别是心血管系统。
The Impact of Smoke on Business
Everyone has to breathe, so everyone is affected when it is smoky outside. Even so, the physiological response to wildfire smoke is highly variable. For some people, the effects may be negligible or mildly to moderately uncomfortable; however, for others, they can be life-threatening. Wildfire smoke is bad for business primarily because it affects the health and well-being of the people who keep businesses running, from top to bottom.
Smoke in the ambient air can also affect the growth and flavor of agricultural crops, which has been well-described by thewine industry. 所有可能受到烟雾影响的企业都将受益于对烟雾弥漫的夏季进行积极的规划，而不是在烟雾到来时进行被动的抢购。
Given the severity of wildfire seasons of the past decade, many commercial enterprises have turned to the problem of wildfire smoke. From academic startups to global consultancies, there are several businesses working to fill the many niches in this evolving market.
In 2017, a group of U.S. federal agencies issued theWildland Fire Sensors Challengeto improve smoke monitoring and provide better data for public health protection. The winning team was from感官, a startup focused on hydrogen sensing for industrial applications.
Other companies have worked to develop systematic approaches to cleaning and monitoring indoor air for large, multi-site companies during wildfire smoke episodes. For example, thePine Centre Mallin Prince George, British Columbia, retrofitted its HVAC systems and purchased multiple air scrubbers to protect tenants, goods and customers when outdoor conditions are smoky, making the mall an inviting, cleaner-air destination.
Smoke in the Climate Future
The duration and intensity of wildfire seasons is increasing globally, partially driven by the changing climate. This is especially true in the western U.S., where climate changehas doubledthe cumulative area burned by wildfire. All of the key indicators suggest that the global wildfire regime is shifting, puttingsome areas比以前经历的风险要高得多。
While it is tempting to believe that extreme wildfire seasons are anomalies, it is far more realistic to anticipate that every upcoming wildfire season has the potential to shatter previous records. Preparing businesses for the risk of smoke may not pay off in the next wildfire season, but it is sure to pay off in the years ahead.