KQED Interviews Craig Peters on Worker Safety Issues During the Containment of the 2016 Soberanes Fire

After multiple employees were killed during the 82-day Soberanes Fire in 2016, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued tens of thousands of dollars in fines against two private firms who were contracted by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service to assist with containment efforts.

KQED interviewed Trial Team Leader Craig Peters on the worker safety issues that came to light after two employees who died on the job were not covered by workers' compensation insurance. Cal/OSHA's investigation points to a lack of training on the part of the private contractors pulled in to work on the 2016 blaze.

The fault for these deaths and injuries lies not with CalFire, but with the State and Feds for underfunding the firefighting force and the manufacturers of heavy equipment that have neglected basic safety measures to protect occupants. "The number of people that they're relying on, that are not really in the industry of firefighting, that they're expecting and relying on to provide them services, seems like a recipe for disaster," said Peters.

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