California Burns as Coronavirus Rages

Embers blow off a burned tree in Napa, California. August 18, 2020. Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty
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Embers blow off a burned tree in Napa, California. August 18, 2020. Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes yesterday as wildfires again swept across swathes of California, and others have been warned to “be ready to go” at any moment, The Mercury News reports.
 
Lightning strikes over the weekend triggered hundreds of blazes, and 250,000+ acres were actively burning Wednesday.
 
The fires have also caused “unhealthy” air quality, which can exacerbate ­respiratory infections like COVID-19, Newsweek reports.
 
This fire season, evacuees face the added fear of crowded shelters amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reports. Disaster response teams are establishing health checks and sending people to larger outdoor staging areas rather than directly to shelters.
 
9 out of 10 of California’s most devastating wildfires have occurred in the last 2 decades, and much the damage has been linked to climate change.


ICYMI: Disaster Relief in the Face of COVID-19 – Global Health NOW

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