UC Davis public health researchers are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the health effects of the Northern California fires in October 2017.
They are asking one person per household in Napa, Sonoma and all other counties affected by the fires to answer an online questionnaire — called the UC Davis Northern California Fire and Health Impacts Survey — about their daily lives, property and health before the fires occurred and immediately afterward, along with their current situations.
Available through May 31, the survey includes questions about respondents and their family members, experiences and needs, and should take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential, and it can be completed online in English here or in Spanish here
The survey is part of a major post-fire assessment project led by Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences and director of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center.
With the survey, Hertz-Picciotto and her research team hope to better understand the effects of the fires through the perspectives of those who survived them. The information can help identify the needs of residents living through the rebuilding process. It can also inform government agencies, local health care providers, nonprofit community groups, and others working to close gaps in disaster relief and provide appropriate services for residents. The research results may also benefit agencies and relief organizations working to reduce potential health impacts from future fire catastrophes.
“The recent fires were unique in their scope and intensity, as well as in the extent to which residential and commercial areas were impacted,” Hertz-Picciotto said.
“Those who respond to the survey will contribute to our knowledge of the short- and medium-term consequences of the fires, especially in terms of the health and well-being of the diverse communities in this region," Hertz-Picciotto added. "By documenting the experiences of Northern Californians during and in the aftermath of the fires, we hope to bring those affected one step closer to full recovery.”
Established in 2015, the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center links experts in multiple schools — including medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, biological sciences, letters and science, and agricultural and environmental sciences — for studies on the effects of environmental chemicals, pollutants, events and disasters on disease and disability. The ultimate goal is to foster new approaches and policies that protect communities from harmful exposures. More information is available on the center’s website.
Testing Sonoma ash and air for fire-formed pollutants