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Glass fire firefighter hospitalized after possible carbon monoxide poisoning

Firefighters perform structure protection against the Glass fire in Napa County.
Firefighters perform structure protection against the Glass fire in Napa County on Thursday along Highway 29 just past Old Lawley Toll Road in Calistoga.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A firefighter battling the Glass fire was transported to a Santa Rosa-area hospital Tuesday afternoon after potential exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

The firefighter, who was not identified, was one of 16 initially examined for possible exposure to the odorless gas Tuesday morning, said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The initial assessments were made at a Cal Fire base camp set up at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. The other 15 firefighters were released back to the fire line after being cleared for duty.

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“Time will tell,” McLean said of the hospitalized firefighter’s condition.

McClean said the exposure did not happen while battling the blaze and occurred outside of base camp, but he did not provide further details.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. They’re often described as “flu-like,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inhaling a large amount of the gas can be deadly.

As of Tuesday, the Glass fire had scorched more than 66,000 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties, among the most destructive fires to hit the wine-making region. It has damaged or destroyed structures at 20 wineries in the area.

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“They’re making some really good headway” on the fire, which has blazed for eight days, McLean said. It is 50% contained.

Evacuation orders remain “fluid,” he said. A local assistance center opened Monday at the Napa County Health and Human Services campus.


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