Firefighters across the country are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic will make it harder to fight wildfires and could threaten firefighters on the front lines as they work to control blazes.
According to CNBC, issues abound around training, hiring new firefighters, and the general readiness of crews, particularly out west where wildfires are common.
"There's a lot of anxiety," Tim Edwards, a union representative with CAL Fire, told CNBC.
"When we have firefighters falling ill, we're not going to have personnel to respond appropriately to fires. And the fires will get bigger and more destructive."
One major concern is having hundreds of firefighters together at the same base camp to fight a fire and one of them contracting the COVID-19 virus, which could then rapidly spread through the ranks. There's also a worry that evacuation shelters could face the same problem.
Training has also been an issue because of lockdowns and quarantines in every corner of the country.
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