‘Protect yourself’: Doctor at UC Davis Burn Center urges people to heed evacuation warnings

Local News

DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — As flames ravage Northern California, some evacuees struggled to escape. 

“If you’re asked to evacuate, you leave and you’ll save your life,” said Dr. David Greenhalgh. “The people who stay back are the ones that most of the time don’t make it. The lucky ones that do survive end up coming to the burn unit.” 

Greenhalgh says four burn victims were rushed to the UC Davis Burn Center Wednesday after having to run through a fire to escape. 

“They really had no choice. It’s try for it or die,” Greenhalgh told FOX40. 

It will be a long, painstaking recovery if they make it. 

“People are in the hospital for about a day per percent burned, so some people will be in the hospital for a couple months,” Greenhalgh said. 

With severe burns, doctors begin by working to reduce the swelling. 

“The hard work really starts when we have to replace the skin that was lost with their remaining skin,” Greenhalgh explained. 

He says the center is filling up quickly because of the large number of fires in recent weeks. 

And they’re bracing for even more. 

“The plan is to ship them to other burn centers where they can take care of them for long periods if we really get overwhelmed,” Greenhalgh said. 

He’s urging everyone to heed evacuation warnings, so they can stay safe and out of the hospital.

“Protect yourself, protect your families. We’re here if you need us,” Greenhalgh said. 

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