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Wildfires and Public Health

California is being forced to reckon with numerous negative public health outcomes caused by wildfires.
November 1, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Wildfire
Max Dunlap

"Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue," write Faith Kerns and Matt Moritz. "Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns."

The two writers are experts on water and fire, respectively, in the state, and they use this article to raise awareness about the need to treat wildfires as a public health threat. "This means taking a more robust approach to a host of issues, including focusing on where and how we build, taking the needs of vulnerable populations seriously, and ensuring that solutions are equitable."

The authors of the story also call out the state's urban planning practices and policies (a popular move these days).

Full Story:
Published on Monday, October 14, 2019 in The Conversation
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