On my recent trip to San Francisco, I arrived at the hotel feeling a little puzzled.
California was proving itself to be a beautiful state – well, at least the few blocks around me were. I couldn’t see much further past that. I was under the impression that San Francisco didn’t have much smog. Yet here I was, unable to see beyond that street lamp a few blocks away.
Upon further Googling, I found what I was experiencing wasn’t smog, but smoke from the Caldor Fire. As I kept reading, it became alarmingly clear to me that I was severely underinformed about not only this fire, but wildfires in general.
What I said earlier holds true for the rest of my experience in California – it is certainly a beautiful state. So it pains me to learn that over 200,000 acres of it have been destroyed in a blaze that has been raging for nearly a month. The Caldor Fire has destroyed nearly 1000 homes and businesses, decimated entire communities, and left a wasteland of wreckage in its wake.
The important thing to note is that this is no longer abnormal. As climate change worsens every year, wildfires like this one become all too common. According to The Washington Post, over 10 million acres burned in the US alone due to wildfires in 2020. Compare this to the just over 1 million that burned in 1983, and there is a clear trend. The New York Times reports that 2020 was the most active fire season on record for the West Coast. That’s kind of a big deal.
It may be hard to remember a time where we weren’t constantly hearing about the latest fire devastating the West Coast, but it shouldn’t have to be that way.
During the month of September, I’ll be donating 20% of Pink Robot Studios’ profits to the El Dorado Community Foundation. I’ll also be planting an additional five trees per project through Ecologi. I’d encourage anyone reading this to consider donating as well!
On a lighter note, anyone else excited for Dune?
Featured image credit: The Associated Press.