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Camp Fire Update, November 29, 2018

Our MRC did an incredible job in the aftermath of the Camp Fire and overcame tremendous challenges during their deployment.

The Camp Fire is the most destructive fire in California history with 77 confirmed casualties, nearly 1,000 still missing, and virtually the complete destruction of two cities: Paradise and Magalia. Currently, 11,713 residences, 472 commercial and 3,388 other buildings are confirmed destroyed.

The CAVMRC was originally assigned a ten-day mission by the State Operations Center, but almost immediately upon our members deploying, we recognized the magnitude of this disaster and applied to have the mission extended to two weeks. We decommissioned on November 31. Here are some numbers:

  • 9 CAVMRC coordinators deployed to manage field operations
  • 9 animal shelter locations manned or routinely visited by CAVMRC volunteers
  • 313 CAVMRC volunteers deployed to assist
  • 2,700 animals between all shelter locations being monitored by the CAVMRC
  • 30 volunteer veterinary hospitals receiving sick and injured animals from the CAVMRC for care
  • 361 12-hour shifts covered by CAVMRC volunteers
  • 400+ animals receiving extensive and/or ongoing treatment by the CAVMRC (burns, illness, etc.)

Volunteers faced significant challenges, including difficult working conditions, smokey air, supply and logistics hurdles, and some extreme medical cases. Examples include a patient with a core body temperature below 90, a carbon monoxide toxicosis, several animals approaching 10% dehydation, second and third degree burns covering between 30 to 50% of the body, and multiple URI cases, to name a few. Our members worked tirelessly to triage, isolate, medicate, treat, and love the countless sick, scared, and stressed animals who survived this devastating event.

Thanks go out to all of those who responded to the deployment calls, who offered to bring supplies, drive long distances, and work long hours in difficult conditions. Our collective effort has made a positive difference for animals in need, which in turn will help these devastated communities.

Now that the county is able to provide veterinary care services for sheltered animals, the CAVMRC assisted them by leaving all of the supplies that it procured in the community, to help the animals recover. These included 10,000 units of vaccine, a large cache of bandage supplies, medications, and animal care items. All of the supplies were placed at a local veterinary practice or with county animal service authorities where they can be distributed and used for patients in need.

For those with clients, family or friends who wish to support us in what we do, please direct them to the California Veterinary Medical Foundation to donate. The CAVMRC receives no government funding; we rely solely on public support.

Please also encourage your colleagues to join. Membership is free. Visit cavmrc.net and register at the bottom of the page. Our strength lies not only in our dedication, but also in our numbers.

Our condolences go out to Butte County and we will continue to do what we can to assist them in recovery.

View photos of the CAVMRC at the Camp Fire

 

© 2018 California Veterinary Medical Association

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