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Hazards Aplenty For Those On Wildfires' Front Lines

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Brian Bull
/
KLCC

The more than 7,500 personnel working on wildfires around the state of Oregon face multiple hazards as they battle blazes in steep, dense terrain.

Travis Doggett is a team lead for Umpqua Valley Ambulance Rescue working on the Holiday Farm Fire east of Springfield. He says firefighters can suffer from a variety of ailments while out on the fire lines.

“It can really be anything from a bee sting to trip and injure an ankle, to a tree falling on an individual and hitting them on their head,” said Doggett. He adds that this is “along with any other multitude of medical issues that can occur: just chest pains, shortness of breath, stuff like that as well.”

Fire camps have medical tents where firefighters can get treatment for any kind of injury or illness. Camps are also taking extra precautions to keep fire crews healthy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including required masks, temperature checks, and numerous hand sanitizing stations.

Copyright 2020, KLCC

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.