West Coast Wildfires: Resources for Response & Recovery

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

This summer, the dry, hot weather has produced conditions of drought that have sparked dozens of wildfires across nine states in the Western United States, including California, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. These wildfires have destroyed over half a million acres of land and required large-scale evacuations. On August 26, 2016, the National Interagency Coordination Center published an Incident Management Situation Report outlining the fire activity; the areas affected; and the national preparedness level, which is currently set at level 4, indicating that many fire-fighting resources have already been deployed.

While fire departments do their best to contain the wildfires, local health departments (LHDs) can always mobilize to prepare for and facilitate recovery following fire emergencies. If your local health department is in an area that’s vulnerable to wildfires, NACCHO recommends familiarizing yourself with the following resources and sharing them with your jurisdictions to ensure they know how to act before, during, and after a wildfire:

Preparedness is about being proactive — while you can’t predict the occurrence or magnitude of a wildfire, you can use the resources above to ensure your local health department and the people it serves stay ready.

To request additional resources or assistance, please contact NACCHO’s Preparedness Team.

One thought on “West Coast Wildfires: Resources for Response & Recovery

  1. Patrick Lynch
    September 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I would like to take a moment to mention some of the response efforts of California’s local Medical Reserve Corps Units for some of our wildfires over the past two summers. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers served medical clinic, call bank, shelter, and animal health missions in response to wildfires throughout our state. Their service to the public and victims of these disasters is to be highly commended. I also want to thank them for that service!
    Respectfully,
    Patrick Lynch, RN
    Manager, Response Personnel Unit
    Disaster Medical Services Division
    CA Emergency Medical Services Authority

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