Newsom details new precautions for wildfire evacuations amid ongoing pandemic


Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials said Thursday that California will shelter wildfire evacuees in hotels, require temperature checks and make other changes to protect people from COVID-19 as the state battles an increase in blazes during the pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak presents a new challenge to the longstanding wildfire problem in California, a state that has experienced some of the most destructive fires in recent years. With the potential for the coronavirus to spread at fire camps and shelters, the Newsom administration is rethinking how the state should house, feed and screen firefighters and evacuees.

“We’ve got to keep them safe,” Newsom said. “We’ve got to keep these environments COVID-free.”

The governor discussed the changes as the coronavirus continues to spread in California at a high rate, with nearly 300,000 confirmed cases and a growing number of hospitalizations.

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