Firefighters in northern California say they are gaining control over historic, deadly wildfires that have burned more than one million acres. However, researchers and former firefighters working on a new study fear the responders battling the blazes are in danger of suffering unprecedented long-term damage, as the wildfires destroy over 1,400 homes and businesses.
"Something has to be done about it now," retired Captain Tony Stefani told CBS News' Carter Evans.
Stefani, a 28-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department, started the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation after he himself was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The group funds research to study the link between firefighters' exposure to toxins and cancer.
"We can't wait for that latency period for five to 10, 20 years down the line to see if these men and women will contract various forms of this insidious disease," Stefani said.