Wildfires in California

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Although most people probably first heard of the Northern Californian wildfires from the news, my first knowledge of them came from a group text with my friends from a summer program. Lucy Carroll, who I met this summer, sent a photo of a fire she could see from her home in Healdsburg, California. Her small wine country town, north of San Francisco by an hour, was nestled between two major fires: the Tubbs and Pocket Fires. Parts of her town were evacuated, but she was lucky enough to be able to stay put, although there were a few close calls, and her family, like all other families in the area, were ready to evacuate.

Not all Californians shared Lucy’s good fortune. She told stories of friends woken in the middle of the night by the police telling them to they needed to leave. She said, “They took the clothes on their backs and left, and by the time they reached safety, their houses were gone.” Lucy and her neighbors have returned to their normal lives, and are “grateful that it wasn’t worse, especially for our town.” Others, however, are struggling as the efforts to rebuild are starting. The sense of community is strong and helping them further these efforts, as Lucy expressed, “The people that live here love it here, and they don’t want to find somewhere new – they want to fix what has been destroyed.” With 41 lives lost, the region is doing their best to move forward.

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