North Bay fires

What are the health risks of wildfire cleanup?

Dec 4, 2017
Angela Johnston

In the wake of the wildfires that devastated Sonoma and Napa counties, residents have been starting the process of cleaning up and rebuilding. The wildfires left about 250 square miles of burnt land — and not just scorched earth, but also materials that can be hazardous to people’s health.

KALW's Ninna Gaensler-Debs talks about what the cleanup process entails, and what health risks people might encounter along the way.

You can find more information about Sonoma County recovery efforts here

Angela Johnston

The sheer amount of hazardous mess left behind by the North Bay fires is unprecedented — and dangerous to the Russian River watershed. As it starts to rain, experts say any amount of precipitation will pick up toxic fire debris and transport it down storm drains.

Lee Romney

For students at Santa Rosa’s Anova Center for Education, the month since the devastating North Bay Fires has been really tough. The school serves high-functioning kids on the autism spectrum. They tend to be anxious and have trouble adapting to change. But their school burned down. And nine families lost their houses, too. Coping — and getting back to a calming routine — has been challenging.

Angela Johnston

The devastating October 2017 wildfires in Northern California were the worst in the state’s history, and fire scientists expect more of these extreme blazes to become the norm. Millions of dead trees turn forests into tinderboxes. And many of those trees were killed by one tiny culprit — the bark beetle.

"Napa Fire", by Casino Connection, used under CC license/ resized

Host Ethan Elkind and guests discuss rebuilding sustainable, fire-resilient communities in the North Bay.

By Pixabay user 3dman_eu. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0/cropped.

Legalization survey at all time high ... Impact of North Bay firestorms ... More good news for children with epilepsy ... What Steve Kerr says ... and more.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

CalFire has named the blazes that devastated Sonoma and Napa Counties earlier this month the October Fire Siege. FEMA says this is the worst fire disaster in California’s history.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

The destructive wildfires that raged through Northern California over the last couple weeks burned close to 250,000 acres of land, forced 100,000 people to evacuate their homes, and tragically took the lives of 42 people.

Scorched cars and free bus rides in fire's aftermath

Oct 19, 2017
Ninna Gaensler-Debs

The North Bay fires — on top of claiming lives, homes, and businesses — also claimed vehicles. Crosscurrents host Hana Baba talked with KALW's transportation reporter Eli Wirtschafter about next steps for people who lost their cars in the wildfires.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

Pamela Voyles lost everything in the Valley Fire in Lake County, then spent two years homeless. She finally found a place — only to flee seven months later.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

 

Hear from two of the approximately 4000 incarcerated men and women currently deployed fighting California’s wildfires.

Ben Trefny

People around the Bay Area, the state, and the nation are thinking about what they can do to help victims of the North Bay fires. For a pair of socially minded artists, it turned out their efforts were worth much more than they’d ever imagined.

BY CC FLICKR USER JURRASIC BLUEBERRIES, RESIZED AND RECROPPED

Fires cause “worst year on record” for cannabis cultivation ... Nevada’s first month adult use sales smash all records ... Nowhere for legal smokers to light up ... and more

Since fires broke out across Sonoma County, KZST 100.1FM in Santa Rosa has transformed it into an essential news source, broadcasting information about the wildfires, live, 24/7.

KALW reporter Ninna Gaensler-Debs

  

We’ll discuss the fires ravaging the North Bay from Rohnert Park.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

Wildfires tearing through California wine country flared up again today. They’ve destroyed hundreds more homes and other buildings and led to new evacuation orders in Calistoga, Green Valley and the northern part of the town of Sonoma.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

 

Cal Fire is looking into whether reports of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding may have led to the disaster.