California Firefighters and Poison Oak

California Firefighters and Poison Oak

fox 11 tvHere is an example of many California fire fighters running afoul of poison oak while fighting brush fires. You can watch the video, though you will need to work your way through layers of pop-up windows and a long sponsor video before the "real" video.

In this case, it seems none of these fire fighters inhaled smoke from burning poison oak, which is far more serious than getting a skin rash. But they march into battle with fire each time, knowing that many of them will come down with a nasty rash. Their heavy jackets and gloves probably protect them to some degree, but clearly not enough.

Poison ivy could be just as much a problem for fire fighters as poison oak, but California is just a lot more dry and fire-prone than most poison ivy infested areas, so we hear less about these problems outside of California.