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Public Health

U.S. Sen. Cortez Masto Wants Long-Term Studies On Wildfire Smoke Impacts To Firefighters

Multiple large wildfires burning in California are blanketing communities in Northern Nevada with smoke and ash. U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto spoke with local health and fire officials in Washoe County on Wednesday to learn more about the fallout from fires.

Reno residents haven’t seen many blue skies lately. The air quality has measured unhealthy for eight days this month, meaning members of sensitive groups may experience serious health effects, and firefighters face special challenges.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore shared the concerns he has for his crews.

“During the course of their career, they’ll have 20 years of exposure to this wildfire smoke,” Moore said.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said more information is needed.

“We need to study the impacts, long-term impacts, that this air quality is having on our health, for our firefighters, and for so many others,” Cortez Masto said.

Cortez Masto said some of the funding in the Senate-passed infrastructure bill should be used for the health study.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

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