Direct Relief International today extended emergency medical assistance to in response to the Sayre Fire in Los Angeles County that has burned more than 2,600 acres, prompting evacuations of more than 5,000 residents.
The organization is coordinating its response with community-based clinics and health centers in the affected areas and with regional clinic associations, and has contacted 20 area clinics to offer assistance.
During wildfires, respiratory issues become one of the most pressing health concerns. Nebulizers help treat asthma and N-95 particulate respirators (protective masks) are recommended to help protect lungs from wildfire ash and smoke.
With grant funds from the California Community Foundation, Direct Relief recently pre-positioned critical medical supplies to treat asthma patients in anticipation of such wildfire events in 37 Los Angeles and Orange County clinics. Thanks to longstanding relationships with these health providers, response to fire emergencies is quick and targeted.
Direct Relief remains in close contact with clinic partners responding to the fires and will furnish assistance as partners identify needs. The organization conducts an ongoing support program with the community clinics throughout the state and, as a licensed pharmacy wholesaler, is able to assist with specific medical items not available through other channels.
More than 1,000 buildings are currently threatened, with 600 firefighters tackling the blaze and Santa Ana winds reaching up to 75 miles per hour.