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Farmworkers Now Receive Wildfire Audio Alerts in Mixteco and Zapoteco in Ventura County, CA

In an interview with Radio Bilingue, Ariadne Villegas Gomez, research associate with PHI’s Tracking California, discusses a new emergency audio alert system in Mixteco and Zapoteco that notifies farmworkers when air quality reaches unhealthy levels in Ventura County due to wildfire smoke.

Farmworker working in a field, carrying a tray of berries

Wildfire smoke exposure is becoming a growing health threat to farmworkers, who must often continue to work in the fields during wildfires and extreme heat events.

In an interview with Radio Bilingue, Ariadne Villegas Gomez, research associate with PHI’s Tracking California, discusses a new emergency audio alert system in Mixteco and Zapoteco that notifies farmworkers when air quality reaches unhealthy levels in Ventura County due to wildfire smoke.

  • Listen to the interview in Spanish on Radio Bilingue
  • Listen to the interview in both Mixteco and Spanish on Radio Bilingue’s “Hora Mixteca Show”

Wildfire smoke has been linked to a range of health issues, including asthma, heart attacks and chronic heart and lung disease, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes. Due to climate change, wildfire seasons are becoming longer, more intense and more dangerous.

During a recent press conference, the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), Líderes Campesinas, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and the Public Health Institute’s Achieving Resilient Communities (ARC) project introduced new updates to the emergency alert system, which will now include audio alert messages in Mixteco and Zapoteco that would notify farmworkers and field supervisors when air quality reaches unhealthy levels in Ventura County due to wildfire smoke. Learn more about the project.


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Watch: Farmworkers Advocate for Climate Action

Seven farmworkers in Ventura County, CA share their experiences with climate change—highlighting its impacts and demonstrating the growing need to advance health equity and climate justice.

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