Firefighting Has Changed — And So Have The Threats To Health Of Those Who Battle The Flames
As firefighters work tirelessly to contain the wildfires in California, the conversation again focuses on new threats to their health -- such as chemicals being released from the flames.
The New York Times:
New Threats Put Wildfire Fighters’ Health On The Line
As fires spread across Northern California last year, Capt. Matt Alba and Strike Team 2253A found themselves wading through a smoldering jungle of plastic and metal in search of bodies. As they worked through charred auto shops and trailers, Mr. Alba kept thinking about the poisons they were kicking up, and that they did not have a single mask or hazmat suit among them. Wildfire fighting had changed. (Turkewitz, 10/31)
The Associated Press:
Fires, Smoke Disrupt Halloween Fun For Many California Kids
For tens of thousands of children in California, the biggest monsters this Halloween are wildfires that have thrown trick-or-treating into disarray. Nancy Metzger-Carter and her family have been in a San Francisco hotel since Saturday when a blaze in Sonoma County wine country forced them to evacuate their home in the small community of Graton. (Tang, 10/31)
The Associated Press:
Dying Winds Bring Relief After Weeks Of California Wildfires
The winds subsided in virtually all parts of the state Thursday and forecasters anticipated at least a week of calm weather, though there was no rain in the forecast that would reduce the threat of fall fires. However, winds lingered in some mountainous areas and they were blamed for driving a new wildfire that threatened homes Thursday night north of Los Angeles. (Melley and Chea, 10/31)
Los Angeles Times:
Maria Fire In Ventura County Explodes To 7,400 Acres, Threatening Somis And Saticoy
A brush fire exploded in Ventura County Thursday night, quickly consuming more than 7,400 acres and burning structures. The blaze, which has been dubbed the Maria fire, broke out atop South Mountain, just south of Santa Paula, and was moving toward the small agricultural towns of Somis and Saticoy. At least two stuctures have been lost, and 1,800 are threatened. (Wigglesworth and Lin, 11/1)
If Power Outages Are California’s New Normal, What About Home Medical Needs?
Fern Brown, 81, sat in the rear of a tent on the windswept fairgrounds of this historic Gold Rush town, drawing deep breaths through the mouthpiece of a nebulizer plugged into a power strip atop a plastic folding table. Afflicted for years with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Brown uses the nebulizer twice a day to avoid flare-ups that can be life-threatening. It turns her medicine into a fine mist that she can inhale. (Kreidler, 11/1)