The WSVMA has not yet received reports on losses within the veterinary community from the wildfires, but early reports indicate that the large Cold Spring Canyon Fire has been responsible for loss of livestock, feed and supplies. No numbers are available as yet. The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA) has been monitoring the situation across the state but the Veterinary Reserve Corp has not been deployed.
The WSVMA has reached out to veterinarians in the affected areas and have offered assistance if needed. Should we receive requests, we’ll forward that information on to the membership. If you, your family or your practice has been affected by the wildfires, we’d like to hear from you. Contact the office at (800) 399-7862 or email [email protected].
Donate to help those affected by wildfires
At this time the Washington State Animal Health Foundation, WSVMA’s charitable arm, is asking for donations to help support the veterinary and animal communities in need of assistance. In the past donations received have been dispersed to assist veterinarians who have suffered losses, or who’ve used great resources to help animals affected by wildfires and other disasters. Funds have also been disbursed to other states where the veterinary and animal communities have suffered losses. Funds for disaster and emergency training have also been granted.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation also offers disaster relief grants for veterinarians. For more information, please visit this website.
Dealing with smoke exposure
We know that operating curbside is presenting a challenge with the current unhealthy air quality. Here are resources from WA Dept. of Labor and Industries about keeping everyone safe:
- The best protection against wildfire smoke is to shelter in an indoor space with good indoor air quality. Find guidance on reducing smoke exposure indoors.
- Check the Washington Smoke Blog the “Air Now” page, and follow Washington Emergency Management Division on Facebook or Twitter for updates on wildfires and air quality for your location.
- See their Wildfire Smoke and Washington Workers page for comprehensive information about workplace safety & health during wildfire season.
- Read and share their handout Wildfire Smoke and Dust Masks at Work. Remember that use of NIOSH-approved N95s is temporarily discouraged due to the current shortage and need to reserve existing limited supplies for workers exposed to coronavirus in high-risk occupations like healthcare. N95’s with exhalation valves are not FDA approved and do not need to be saved for healthcare. Examples of masks that might be useful for wildfire smoke include masks such as KN90s or KN95s approved in other countries. Any other elastomeric respirator with particulate cartridges can also protect you from wildfire smoke.
- See Protecting workers from wildfire smoke exposure: best practices for more information.
AVMA also has helpful information on pets and smoke exposure on their website.
Posted September 11, 2020