Firefighters preparing to fight wildfires and COVID-19

The Forest Service published a nine-page document with a list of new protocols firefighters will follow.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 11:26 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2020 11:53 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.-- The U.S. Forest Service released new guidelines for its firefighters in the Pacific Northwest on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 as fire season approaches.

The Forest Service published a nine-page document with a list of new protocols firefighters will follow as a way to protect them from the coronavirus while also battling fires. Some of those include increased social distancing between first responders whether that is on the fire lines or resting in camps. They will also not be allowed to travel to nearby towns.

Other new protocols involve identifying first responders who are prone to respiratory illnesses and no sharing of personal protective equipment and firefighting gear.

Kyle Reed from the Douglas Protective Fire Association said his agency will also be implementing measures to keep their firefighters safe.

"We're going to have to try and incorporate some more social distancing and how we handle not only initial attack fires but we do have large fires where we have to have fire teams come in," Reed said. "There will potentially be hundreds or thousands of people in a small area."

Below is the full list of guidelines:

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