163 miles from the enormous fire scorching through Northern California and about 350 miles from the one burning in the southern part of the state, people walked around San Francisco wearing a mask to protect their lungs from the ash and hazardous conditions caused by the devasting fires.
California cities that are far from the Woosley Fire in the south and the Camp Fire to the north, claiming the title as the deadliest and most destructive fires in state history, are complaining about the effects of the smoke, according to officials.
Wednesday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had announced a public health emergency in California due to the multiple wildfires. He shared a statement with the public explaining, “We are working closely with state health authorities and monitoring the needs of healthcare facilities to provide whatever they may need to save lives and protect health,” this declaration will help ensure that Americans who are threatened by these dangerous wildfires and who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program have continuous access to the care they need.”
He also addressed the situation were two hospitals and eight healthcare facilities close to the fire zones have been forced to evacuate limiting available care. Azar cautioned that the smoke from the fires can present “a significant health threat” for those struggling with asthma and other lung conditions. Multiple school districts, some 200 miles from the Camp Fire including Santa Rose, have called off classes again on Wednesday due to the bad conditions.
Classes were canceled Tuesday at The University of California Davis, which is about 100 miles from the Camp Fire, “due to poor air quality as a result of the Butte County fires. “Resuming classes on Wednesday but canceling all outdoor sports and activities as advised to by fire and health experts monitoring the air quality
Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District said, “Unfortunately, smoke from the fire continues to blanket all nine counties of the Bay Area, which is why we have called the mandatory Winter Spare the Air Alert through Friday,” in statement addressing the people to encourage use of carpool, buses or any public transportation and to avoid using the fireplaces to reduce air pollution.
The two fires that rage in the north and south started both on Thursday and grew quickly, they destroyed more than 7,000 homes and burning more than 345 square miles of land combined. The larger fire, Camp Fire in the North caused 42 deaths making it the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
Smoke clouds covered the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday. Sunday football fans flocked to the stadium to see the Oakland Raiders many celebrating and aware with a protective mask.
“It feels eerie and worrisome and the sun looks really funny and the moon as well,” Beth Gorelick of San Francisco told reporters “I feel really bad for the people in Paradise.”
More information can be found at AirNow.gov, a state website that charts air quality throughout California, which showed numerous cities far from the fires experiencing unhealthy air quality.
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