Napa firefighters responding to encampment fires face unique hazards

  • Source: Napa Valley Register
  • Published: 01/12/2018 07:20 AM

A homeless man was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after the shed he was sleeping in caught fire at about 10:53 a.m. Thursday. After extinguishing that fire, city of Napa firefighters were called to another one, this time near the homeless encampment by Gasser Drive. “Homeless encampment fires have, in recent times, been a significant response for us,” Capt. Steve Becker said. The frequency of these fires has increased in the last few years. Some are due to careless warming fires or cooking fires while some have been intentionally set, sometimes as a form of retribution, he said. But all of them present unique fire suppression hazards to responding firefighters. As with both of Thursday’s incidents, many of these fires occur in areas that may be difficult to access along riverbanks or in secluded areas. The makeshift tents are often made of hazardous synthetic material and propane tanks, needles and medical and human waste are also present.


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