Becky Hornbook comments on "ag passes" for vineyard workers during wildfires
Research investigates health effects of wildfire smoke in Sonoma County, California
Wildfire evacuation access permits (the so-called interim “ag passes”) were first issued in 2017 for Sonoma and Napa counties, allowing those workers tending the fields, vineyards and livestock areas of Northern California to gain access during fires and other natural disasters. Marin County is now starting to develop a similar permit system, and the State of California signed its own version into law last fall.
ACOM scientist Becky Hornbrook commented on the health effects of this practice, revealed by research conducted with colleagues at UC Irvine: “We learned that when they typically harvest at night, that’s when the wildfire smoke is concentrated and trapped low to the ground. It can be detrimental — especially in valleys where (the smoke) lingers."