This is not the case, but when, the next big wildfire strikes and a new Stanford study says we are not ready to deal with the smoke.
The study asked us how we can protect ourselves from severe fires, and it proved that people’s safety is linked to their economic status.
“Instead of trying to limit fires, people should stay indoors or turn on air purifiers,” said Sam Heft-Nell. Food Security and Environmental Center.
With the help of social media information from English and Spanish-speaking communities, Stanford scholar Heft-Nell and other scientists, everyone in California is interested in air quality.
But when it comes to the next step, air purification and other solutions are more likely to occur only in high-income families.
“We see that rich families are more likely to change their lifestyle in response to wildfires, not only through Google searches, but also cell phone tracking information,” Heft-Nell said.
It is one of the many discoveries that make us believe that we need to do more to protect ourselves from the effects of wildfires, especially in low-income communities.
Heft-Nell: “Additional public safety options may include items such as clean air centers, libraries or other public buildings.
Another option is to support air-cleaning costs for low-income families, which is very similar to what the Bay Area Air District is currently doing.
Last year, they delivered 1,200 portable air purifiers to homeless and low-income residents.
Veronica Eddie, senior vice president of policy and justice, said: “Many low-income communities have older homes.
Schools have also received funding to provide air purifiers and are working with the state to open clean air centers in the coming months.
But they understand, and as the study shows, all these programs need to be increased.
“We’re not reaching as many families as we want to reach as many people and families as we can, we’re working to get donations from some manufacturers,” Eddie said.