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How Wildfires Are Making The Western U.S. More Vulnerable To COVID-19

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, July 30, 2021 - 10:56am
Updated: Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 8:43am

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Firefighters fighting the Backbone Fire
Firefighters fighting the Backbone Fire near Payson in late June 2021.

This summer, residents of the American West have been coping with the one-two punch of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and accelerated wildfire seasons attributable to a changing climate and prolonged drought conditions.

Now, a research team at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada is connecting the dots between these two events, finding correlations between the air pollution caused by wildfires and increased vulnerability to the COVID-19 virus.

Daniel Kiser is a research scientist there, and he and his team looked at the juxtaposition of COVID-19 and wildfires in the Reno area. 

The Show spoke with him to learn about what they found.

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