California Firefighters Battle Fatigue

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 7, 2008
Just when firefighters thought they were beating the 330 wildfires that continue burning in California…the weather has turned against them. Afternoon temperatures will be in the low 100’s in many parts of California this week--allowing fires to spread faster. There’s also a chance of more dry lightning which is blamed for starting the more than 15-hundred fires across the state last week. The hot, dry weather puts firefighters at a higher risk for heat stroke and other illnesses. David Boyd is an information officer at a joint wildfire headquarters in Redding for Calfire and the U-S Forest Service. “We have over 20-thousand firefighters now working these wildfires in California. And they’re coming from all over the country, 41 states in all, and some are experienced working in this extremely hot weather and others aren’t…” Firefighters are encouraged to drink one to 2 quarts of water each hour to prevent heat related sickness. Officials say heat stroke is the most common problem that causes firefighters to stop work and seek medical treatment.