Agencies Respond to California Wildfires
The Camp Fire—a blaze that consumed more than 150,000 acres and burned in California for more than two weeks—was declared 100-percent contained on Sunday, Nov. 25. As of early December, the California wildfire’s death toll was 85.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA was working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration, EPA, and other federal agencies to help those affected by the wildfires. California enforces worker health and safety requirements in the state, but federal OSHA was assisting affected areas upon request. MSHA was responding to the fires’ impact on mines and was ready to respond more generally with specialized equipment and personnel. In November, AIHA contacted the relevant government entities in California, offering resources on wildfire response, assistance, and recommendations for protecting the health and safety of residents and recovery workers. AIHA has several free resources related to wildfire response and recovery, including “Health and Safety Issues in Natural Disasters,” a guidance document published in 2017 that provides a list of resources for addressing potential hazards during and after floods, tornadoes, and wildfires; a web page on wildfire-specific hazards; and the white paper “Industrial Hygienists’ Roles and Responsibilities in Emergency Preparedness and Response.” For more information, please visit AIHA’s Disaster Response Resource Center.
NEWSWATCH
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EMERGENCY RESPONSE