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California and other wildfire-prone western states have experienced a substantial increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in recent years. Wildlands and climate experts expect these trends to continue and quite likely to worsen in coming years. Wildfires and other disasters can be particularly devastating for vulnerable communities. Members of these communities tend to experience worse health outcomes from disasters, have fewer resources for responding and rebuilding, and receive less assistance from state, local, and federal agencies. Because burning wood releases particulate matter and other toxicants, the health effects of wildfires extend well beyond burns. In addition, deposition of toxicants in soil and water can result in chronic as well as acute exposures.

On June 4-5, 2019, four different entities within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop titled Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis. The workshop explored the population health, environmental health, emergency preparedness, and health equity consequences of increasingly strong and numerous wildfires, particularly in California. This publication is a summary of the presentations and discussion of the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Implications of the California Wildfires for Health, Communities, and Preparedness: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

160 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-49987-3
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-49990-3

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