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Under fire

USPS responds to California wildfires

Employees loading mail outside Trancas, CA, Post Office
Employees work this week at the Napa, CA, Post Office. Due to a power outage, it was too dark to work inside the facility.

The Postal Service is continuing to move the mail in Northern California, where wildfires have claimed more than 30 lives and damaged approximately 3,000 homes and businesses.

No USPS facilities have been damaged, although service at 15 Post Offices has been affected due to road closures and power outages. Some offices have suspended retail operations, shifting these services to other locations.

“Every effort is being made to deliver the mail, safety permitting,” said Pacific Area Acting VP Larry Munoz.

Fed by gusting winds and dry conditions, the fires so far have scorched about 190,000 acres of land and forced the evacuation of thousands of people.

California’s wine country — including Napa, Sonoma and Medocino counties — has been hardest hit.

USPS is advising employees in the affected areas to call the national emergency hotline at 888-363-7462 to report their condition, while customers can check the USPS Service Alerts site for the latest updates.

Employees are also being provided with safety guidance and materials, including respirator masks for carriers who deliver in areas affected by wind and smoke.

At least 17 employees have lost homes to the fires. The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program are available to help employees who are affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.

Munoz thanked the employees who are continuing to work despite hardships caused by the fires.

“I take great pride in the heroic efforts our employees are making, and I urge them to take every precaution during this challenging time,” Munoz said.

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