California Wildfire Season is Approaching: 7 Health Impacts to Monitor

Currently in its fifth year of a severe drought, peak wildfire season in California is around the corner — typically beginning in late July or August and extending into the fall months. Generally speaking, 2016 is expected to be more of an average year for wildfires than the state has experienced during the past five or six years, reported CNBC in an interview with a U.S. Forest Service official. Regardless, the state has already experienced a number of devastating wildfires, causing many to be on high alert.

In late June, nine large wildfires caused two deaths, destroyed hundreds of homes, and required the assistance of a combined 5,200 firefighters. Located in Kern County, Calif., the Erskine Fire, the largest fire — which resulted in the two deaths — burned an estimated 45,388 acres and destroyed 200 homes.

Even those who may appear unscathed after a wildfire may still be at risk for some serious health risks. Learn more about the potential health hazards brought by wildfires.

7 Health Impacts of Wildfires

Health risks from wildfires can be both immediate and long-term, as there are a number of key routes to exposure — direct contact with flames and heat, smoke or smoldering materials drifting through the air, exposure to contaminated land or soil, and water contamination. Leading health issues can be both psychological and physical, including:

• Respiratory issues
• Psychological trauma
• Burns
• Cardiovascular problems — including ischemic heart disease
• Heat induced illnesses
• Eye problems — such as irritation and reduced visibility
Carbon monoxide poisoning

People living in areas prone to wildfires must be cognizant of the potential health hazards brought by these blazes, as many aren’t immediately recognizable. Even seemingly small actions, such as keeping windows and doors shut in the days following a blaze and regularly testing carbon monoxide levels can make a huge difference. Residents may not be able to prevent a wildfire, but they can mitigate its impact on the health of their families.

Eco-Rental Solutions is committed to providing you with the top quality tools you need and the outstanding customer service you deserve. If you need to test air quality, perform soil testing, or test water conditions, contact us for more information or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions