In the year 2020, there was a wildfire on Labour Day in Santiam Canyon and since that point, they have been informed about certain breathing difficulties, health issues and problems faced while finding shelter. The wildfires had terrorized the people of that area not only while it was on but also by its aftermath.
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Out of some of the places which were affected by the post-fire results, some cities like Detroit, Gates, Lyons, Mill City, and Idanha were a part of a survey. This established a fact 55% of the people suggested having breathing problems, this was quite higher than the 27% of people who reported breathing problems prior to the fire. This was and one month-long survey, starting from October dating till November.
Forest fires are one of the most common hazards in the forest. There are mainly two causes for a forest fire to break out:-
- Natural causes – Natural causes like lightning sparks the beginning of a forest fire by hitting a tree and setting it on fire. Also the temperature and low humidity make it easy for the fire to start.
- Man-made causes – A forest fire can also start from a source such as a cigarette, naked flame, electric spark, etc. These are the causes which the humans make resulting into forest fires.
After the research done by the Oregon State University, there were a lot of revelations regarding the wildfires and their adverse effects on the people of the researched areas. Following are the results of the research:-
- The people who took part in this survey conclude saying that they have to necessarily change the air filters of their houses in every two weeks.
- It is not only the human beings but also the animals who have to suffer the air contamination.
- The burning of machinery, buildings and different materials released toxic chemicals in form of smoke in the air. This was the observation of Marc Braverman (Oregon state professor and one of the authors in the study) .
- The fire is not only removed the forest covers but also increased the dust levels in the air. These dust particles move with the moving wind and caused problems in breathing .
- The forest fires also affected the peoples mental health as some of them struggled from housing and food problems.
- Out of the people who lost their houses in the fire only 13% of them have returned back to the area. Only 42% of them have been given rebuilding permits and septic permits are given to 53% of them. The number of people returned was 694 as of November 15th .
- Some Places such as Detroit, got their water filtration destroyed due to the forest fires. A time span of seven months was required to put place a temporary filter. The water was unhealthy due to the methyl tert-butyl present in the water. However, Oregon reported consumable levels of it in the water.
The reports opened up a lot about the wildfires and the people who suffered due to them. People are mainly struggling with their mental health issues because they lost whatever they had, met by their dream house or car. It was a hard hit for them to bear.
The wildfire survivors are not having a normal life as they have to coup up with their traumas. Additionally, they have to face diet issues, lack of medical facility, inability to exercise, etc. Places that had water issues even limited the residents from getting proper drinking water. So, surveys like this help the government in figuring out the requirements and providing aid to the needy.
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