As wildfires rage and N95 masks run out, California farmers say they have no choice but to keep workers in fields

Right now, as historic wildfires scorch northern California, field hands are still picking lettuce, strawberries, and other fresh produce in the Salinas Valley. Their employers say they have no choice, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “We have to keep the crews moving so that we keep food in the supply chain,” a local Farm Bureau executive explains. At times like these, California’s workplace safety department requires outdoor workers to wear N95 masks, which filter smoke out of the air. But getting those masks during the Covid-19 pandemic is no easy task, and a county stockpile is already depleted.

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