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Fish evacuation and emergency sheltering during wildfire disasters

Christine A. Parker-GrahamDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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June AngDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Eva Marie QuijanoCardéDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Linda A. DeanovicCenter for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Matthew StoneCenter for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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John E. MadiganDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Monica AlemanDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Esteban SotoDepartment of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Wildfires are a serious and expanding threat in western North America, and wildfire encroachment on human populations leads to widespread evacuation and emergency housing operations for residents and their companion animals and livestock. Veterinarians are frequently part of wildfire response efforts and are called upon to assist in rescue, evacuation, and emergency housing operations as well as to provide medical care for evacuated animals. Although veterinarians are likely familiar with the principles of transporting and housing terrestrial animals, emergency response for aquatic companion animals presents unique logistic challenges. Veterinarians familiar with aquatic animal evacuation, housing, and care prior to a wildfire response can extend the scope of disaster recovery. This report offers general guidance for rescuing, evacuating, housing, and caring for aquatic animals in the wake of a wildfire.

Wildfires are a serious and expanding threat in western North America, and wildfire encroachment on human populations leads to widespread evacuation and emergency housing operations for residents and their companion animals and livestock. Veterinarians are frequently part of wildfire response efforts and are called upon to assist in rescue, evacuation, and emergency housing operations as well as to provide medical care for evacuated animals. Although veterinarians are likely familiar with the principles of transporting and housing terrestrial animals, emergency response for aquatic companion animals presents unique logistic challenges. Veterinarians familiar with aquatic animal evacuation, housing, and care prior to a wildfire response can extend the scope of disaster recovery. This report offers general guidance for rescuing, evacuating, housing, and caring for aquatic animals in the wake of a wildfire.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Soto (sotomartinez@ucdavis.edu)