First responders are preparing for raging wildfires that they expect will consume thousand of acres and drive some residents from their homes in upcoming months.
But this year, preparations have stalled. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the country’s already strained emergency services, raising concerns over inadequate disaster relief during peak fire season.
Firefighters across the country are ill or under quarantine. Others worry they’ll contract the virus in crowded base camps during wildfire outbreaks. And fewer personnel will be available for emergency calls since the public health crisis has delayed new hiring and training.
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