1 in 5 firefighters on 2016 Fort McMurray Fire suffered from respiratory problems

Fort McMurray fire, May 16
Fort McMurray fire, May 16, 2016. NASA.

Some firefighters who fought the 1,500,000-acre Fort McMurray Fire that burned 2,400 homes in Alberta last year also battled respiratory and mental health issues.

Below is an excerpt from a CBC news article:

The University of Alberta study surveyed 355 firefighters and found a “very large proportion” of them complained of respiratory issues including coughing, breathlessness, wheezing and chest tightness in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

“When we saw them later, probably about one in five of those still had problems with their chests that they felt had been caused or made worse by the fire,” said Nicola Cherry, the epidemiologist leading the study.

And they’re battling more than just physical ailments — mental-health issues affect one in six of study participants.

“When we collected this information, it was early days and people may develop bigger issues as time goes forward,” Cherry said.

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Articles on Wildfire Today tagged Fort McMurray Fire.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

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