As wildfires devour communities, toxic threats emergeMore
By Sharon Bernstein
PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) – As an uncontrollable wildfire turned the California town of Paradise to ash, air pollution researcher Keith Bein knew he had to act fast: Little is known about toxic chemicals released when a whole town burns and the wind would soon blow away evidence.
He drove the roughly 100 miles to Paradise, located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, from his laboratory at the University of California, Davis, only to be refused entrance under rules that allow first responders and journalists – but not public health researchers – to cross police lines.
It was the second time Bein says he was unable to gather post-wildfire research in a field so new public safety agencies have not