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Farmworkers in Northern and Southern California Working in Hazardous Conditions During Fires

In her post in Remezcla on the hazards of farmworkers laboring outdoors during The Camp and Woolsey fires in Northern and Southern California, senior culture editor Yara Simón includes a photo of workers picking crops under an orange and blue hued sky at a farm in Camarillo. It’s an apocalyptic scene with a foreboding that’s only overshadowed by the outrageous fact that most of these workers are probably not properly protected for their health.

Simón details the work of people like Lucas Zucker of Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), which has helped distribute protective masks to Oxnard-area farmworkers since last year’s Thomas Fire. Simón notes that CAUSE:

“…hasn’t distributed as many masks this time around, because of conflict with land owners. “[It’s] partly because growers have become increasingly hostile to volunteers entering their private property to distribute protective gear,” Zucker adds.”

Despite this hitch in mask distribution, Zucker points out that people can call Division of Occupational Safety and Health of California (CAL OSHA) and state legislators to demand better protection for these workers.

Accident Recovery Legal Center stands in full solidarity with farmworkers put at risk during the fires and encourages people to help CAUSE through 805 Undocufund, which raises money for undocumented workers who aren’t able to receive federal assistance.