In response to wildfires burning across Northern California, Direct Relief has offered emergency assistance to California’s Office of Emergency Services, the Napa County Public Health Department, and more than 40 health centers and clinics in the affected region.
The fast-moving fires have burned at least 57,000 acres and 1,500 structures, prompting Governor Jerry Brown on Monday to issue an emergency proclamation for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties. The emergency declaration authorizes the deployment of California’s National Guard.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 100 people were seeking care for fire-related injuries including burns and smoke inhalation. Several evacuation centers have been set up in the affected regions, but many have reached capacity.
For more than a decade, Direct Relief has been a member of the California Business Operations Center to mobilize private medical resources during emergencies and ensure coordination with official response efforts. It was activated today.
Direct Relief has dispatched an emergency shipment of N-95 masks, which protect against inhalation of fine particulate matter in ash and smoke, to Lake County Public Health Department. Medical assistance has also been offered to 40 health centers and clinics as mass evacuations continue to unfold.
Beyond the immediate danger posed to nearby communities, wildfires can exacerbate chronic health issues such as asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. For those with such conditions, fires deal a harsh mix of smoke, dust and other particulates in the air.
Direct Relief maintains an inventory of fire-related items – N-95 particulate masks, inhalers, nebulizers and personal care items – for wildfire events, which are available to partners upon their request.
Check back for additional updates on the situation as it evolves.