Bad news: Wildfire smoke contributes to 15,000 premature deaths every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Worse news: Expect 40,000 premature deaths per year by century’s end thanks to rising temperatures and bigger wildfires. Wildfire smoke can cause heart attacks, asthma and lung disease, contributing to the toll of cigarettes, auto exhaust and emissions from coal-fired power plants. One study showed a 7 percent increase in heart attacks and a 2 percent increase in emergency room visits when wildfire smoke rolls into populated areas. So does that mean the Forest Service’s plan to both repeatedly burn a million acres in Rim Country and the White Mountains will take a toll on human health? For the past 100 years, the Forest Service devoted itself to putting out every single wildfire within 24 hours.