WASHINGTON — The Camp Fire devastated Paradise and several surrounding communities, the effects spreading to the Sacramento area and bringing air quality to dangerous levels for days.
That’s why preparing for wildfires and public safety, in general, are a couple of the key focal points during the 2019 Capitol-to-Capitol program.
“We talk about wildfire and forest health in three different categories,” Project Valley Vision consultant Meg Arnold said. “Prevention upfront, response in the midst of an event and recovery in the aftermath of that event.”
With the closure of so many schools during the Camp Fire, one of the ideas being pushed here is a clear air center at each public school in the region.
“Schools will be able to avoid that really difficult decision between closing and staying open and continue to provide learning opportunities to their students but being able to do so in a safe environment,” Arnold said.
On the public safety front, Sacramento police and fire are teaming up.
“In Sacramento or any big city, the two major public agencies or public safety agencies, they have to work together,” Sacramento Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Costamanga said.
Both agencies working hand in hand on securing funding for training and resources to help officers and firefighters cope with what they face each day on the job.
“They work long hours, long shifts,” Costamanga said. “The volume of calls that they answer and the lack of time they have to process what they just did is becoming a critical part of their health as well.”