During the evening of Sunday, October 8, 2017 a series of 17 wildfires erupted throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, and Solano counties. Within a week the fires had burned more than 200,000 acres causing 90,000 people to evacuate their homes. Close to 8,000 structures were destroyed. At least 43 dead with hundreds more hospitalized have labeled the week of October 8 the deadliest week of wildfires in California history.
Read about the experiences of Dr. Josh Weil, Skip Skivington, and Mitch Saruwatari during and after the North Bay Fires as ASPR TRACIE interviewed these Kaiser staff members about their personal encounter with the wildfire and professional ordeal evacuating a hospital in the midst of one.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in California due to severe wildfires. The declaration, which is retroactive to Oct. 8, waives certain conditions providers are typically expected to meet for reimbursement, including:
SAMHSA announced this week that its Disaster Distress Helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who may need help dealing with the problems that the Northern California wildfires have caused. The helpline’s number is 800.985.5990, and the resource is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.