Residents of North Bay counties affected by October’s firestorm have two weeks left to participate in a UC Davis survey that’s part of a wide-ranging study of post-fire health impacts, environmental exposure and recovery.
The Northern California Fire and Health Impacts Survey, launched Feb. 1, is one element of a comprehensive, post-fire assessment that includes smoke analysis and ash sampling in an effort to understand the array of chemicals and other health hazards those in the fire zone may have been exposed to.
The online questionnaire is open through midnight, May 31.
At least 1,500 people already have responded to the survey, which takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete, researchers said. Only one survey per household will be accepted, though all members of that household may contribute to the response.
The 2017 wildfires devastated Sonoma County, burning through 137 square miles and destroying more than 5,200 homes. Forty-four people were killed in Sonoma and neighboring counties.
The scope and severity of the firestorm provide a rare opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps about the chemical components created from urban fires and the result of exposure to those chemicals, scientists said.
Researchers are hoping for as large a sampling as possible, including people who experienced no loss or health impact, to represent as wide a range as possible. They’re interested, also, in hearing about the needs of those who are rebuilding, lead researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto said in a news release.
“Including as many experiences with these firestorms as possible is critical to communicating the full range of outcomes, needs and repercussions for diverse communities and potentially bringing all who were affected closer to full recovery,” said Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences and director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center at UC Davis.
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You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 707-521-5249 or email@example.com. On Twitter @MaryCallahanB.