Wildfires are a common phenomenon in various parts of the world, especially during summers and dry seasons. In most American states, especially in the north, wildfires cause massive loss of vegetation and lives. In particular, the states of Idaho, Montana and others in the region are adversely affected whenever the phenomenon occurs.
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However, the current situation in Idaho is worth discussion due to the economic and health impacts of wildfires in Wood River Valley, Sun Valley and Beaver Creek. Arguably, the Idaho Wildfires have led to massive loss of economic resources, destruction of opportunities. In addition, they threaten the public health sector.
In august 2013, a number of efforts were made to ensure that the wildfires in Idaho did not affect tourism and other vocational activities in the region (Jasper 16). However, the extent of the phenomenon threatened the fire authorities, to an extent of calling for immediate evacuation of humans and animals (Miller 12). For instance, the Beaver Creek fire around the Wood River Valley caused massive loss of vegetation cover.
The fire threatened the lives of thousands of people living in the area. For instance, the area is popular with wealthy homeowners, who have set up large and luxurious Lexuses (Miller 12). In addition, it threatened the lives of thousands of employees, residents and tourists during the month of august.
According to Jasper (16), the Beaver Creek wildfire is a rare phenomenon because it has come into close proximity with a substantial-sized community, threatening their lives, businesses and the economy. In fact, the University of Oregon’s study on wildfire shows that the economic impact of the wildfires in the region is mixed.
For instance, the increased spending on fire related services and fire suppression efforts cause socioeconomic damages. In addition, the report suggests that the fires cause long-term instability in the state’s labor markets because there is a surge in the need for labor during wild fires and layoffs after the fires are over.
In the health sector, the wildfires have affected thousands of people living in rural areas. The volume of smoke, for instance, is large and has the potential to cause some health concerns in the area. For example, fresh air is always a public health concern during wildfires. In addition, the ability of the Beaver Creek fire to come close to the residential area this year is an additional threat to humans and property.
While it was possible to provide the locals with cleaner air using aircrafts, reaching out for rural populations is always difficult, thus compromising the rural public health. However, the last wildfire in Idaho also affected communities living in towns such as Beaver Creek due to its proximity to a large population. Large tracts of city land were occupied with dust and smoke from the fire, which affected the air around the towns.
In this way, the air transportation industry remained closed for more than a week, while streets and most businesses remained closed. In addition, thousands of tourists were evacuated, despite being a peak season. While some of these aspects only affected the economic sector, others affected the public health sector.
For example, the impact of smoke and dust may be ignored, but it is theoretically evident that it may have affected the health of some people, especially those with asthma.
In conclusion, the recent wildfires in Idaho are a significant threat to the economic and health sectors. Effective fire response and prevention protocols must be put in place to avoid these threats in future.
Jasper, William. “Burning Up the West: Feds, Greens Cause Catastrophic Fires”. The New American. 23 August 2013: 16. Print.
Miller, John. “Uncontrollable Idaho Fire Ruins Vacations for the Rich and Famous”. The Time News. 23 August 2013: 12. Print