As i write these words in Oakland, the day after Christmas 2017, the Thomas wildfire in Ventura County near Los Angeles has been burning for nearly a month. Finally 88% contained, this is the largest fire in California history and the second unprecedentedly catastrophic wildfire in the state in under two months. The air quality in the Bay Area has been significantly impacted. People with respiratory illnesses or other sensitivities have needed to wear their N95 masks again as they did during the Northern California fires, and the severity of asthma symptoms, especially in children, has ostensibly worsened.

A recent photo of Christmas trees decorated in what now resembles a vacant lot in Santa Rosa, placed by people marking where their homes used to be, is an indelible reminder of the tragedy, as are images of the loss and devastation caused by hurricanes...

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