News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
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Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Nearly One-Third of U.S. Population Under Heavy Smoke Conditions Due to Wildfires

Direct Relief is preparing N95 masks for shipment to communities impacted by thick smoke and particulates in the air from wildfires in Canada.



Smoky air as seen above New York City this week. Wildfires in the region have compromised air quality, which can have adverse health impacts on people with asthma and other respiratory issues. (EarthCam image)

Smoke from fires that continue to rage in Quebec and Ontario, Canada, is causing hazardous conditions across wide swathes of the United States.

Approximately 100 million people, or nearly a third of the U.S. population, have been under heavy smoke conditions over the past two days, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Cloudy skies and low air quality have been reported as a danger and looming health issue.

The National Weather Service has reported air quality alerts for the Great Lakes region and parts of the Northeast, particularly Illinois, Michigan, and New York.

Dark red circles indicate areas where air quality is in the hazardous range. Click to expand. (Direct Relief)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cautioned that residents in some areas should avoid all outdoor physical activity due to Air Quality Index measures of 301 or higher in ozone and particle pollution. The EPA’s Fire and Smoke map allows residents to view hourly-reported air quality conditions by searching for a city, state or area.

The EPA encourages those who may be affected by smoke-related air quality conditions to wear protective gear like N95 masks, reduce strenuous activity outside, and reschedule outdoor work tasks or take frequent breaks.


Compromised air quality can cause major health impacts for people living with respiratory conditions, like asthma, groups including young children and older adults, and those with cardiovascular illnesses.

Wildfire smoke has been linked to “significant” increases, within a day or two of the event, in hospital emergency departments.

Wildfires can also force mass evacuations, during which people may be cut off from essential medications to manage chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Fire-related power outages can also cause people to spiral into medical crises when they are without the power needed for electricity-powered medical devices needed for oxygen delivery, cold storage for temperature-sensitive insulin and more.


Direct Relief is communicating with primary care associations to assess medical needs and is currently preparing shipments of N95 masks for health centers.

The organization is in contact with primary care associations in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, as well as the Canadian Association of Community Health Centers.

Direct Relief responds to wildfires each year during fire season, including those that impact the Western U.S. The organization maintains a stockpile of N95 masks at its California warehouse for distribution and also manages an inventory of critical medicines often requested during fires, including asthma medications and diseases for chronic diseases often requested when people are forced to evacuate.

The organization will continue responding as needed.

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