Direct Relief’s emergency response team is preparing a shipment of fire-related inventory for people suffering from smoke-related symptoms near the massive Powerhouse Fire blazing in northern Los Angeles County.
The wildfire, which broke out near Santa Clarita in the Angeles National Forest last Thursday, quickly grew to 45 square miles over the weekend and has forced the evacuations of 1,000 homes. It has burned five to six homes and damaged 15 structures so far, according to NBC Los Angeles. Full containment of the fire is not expected until June 10.
Mayra Pineda of Antelope Valley Community Clinic in Lancaster reported that poor air quality caused by smoke from the fire is affecting their patients’ health. Direct Relief is readying N95 particulate masks, inhalers and nebulizers for people receiving care at the clinic. In addition, first-aid products, medical supplies for eye irritation, and personal care products are on standby should they be requested for potentially-affected patients.
Smoke levels can worsen symptoms for people with chronic heart and lung diseases. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people can experience symptoms of abnormal breathing, coughing, chest discomfort and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The emergency team has reached out to four other health center partners near the affected area and continues to monitor the latest fire activity (large dots) in relation to its partner network (small yellow dots) using Palantir software (pictured above). Follow Direct Relief’s Twitter feed for the latest news from partners as it unfolds.