Fire and COVID rage all around me. Can’t we do better?

This has been anything but a normal year, but when I first saw the lightning strikes, I thought, even for 2020, this is crazy. Waking me from sleep in my San Francisco home, forks of lightning lit up the pitch-black sky at a terrifying frequency and with deafening roars. It was beautiful. It was ominous. In all, there were almost 7,000 lightning strikes on that mid-August day, streaking across the urban landscape.

The following morning, we joked of the coming apocalypse, but little did we imagine that two weeks later we would literally find ourselves in a fiery, hellish landscape, obscuring the beauty of California behind smoke and fire, and leaving millions of people struggling with the health consequences of breathing these toxic fumes. 

Coupled with climate change, heat waves and forest overgrowth, the lightning storms were the catalyst to the worst wildfire season the West Coast has seen in

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Many neighborhoods destroyed as fire, smoke devastate Oregon families, workers and homeless

PHOENIX, Ore. – Betty Stevens stumbled down the street that had until a few hours ago seemed so familiar, her feet crunching through ash and debris as she entered the smoking remains of her neighborhood. There were melted street signs. Trees burned down to stumps. Power lines across the road. And everywhere she turned, choking, acrid smoke.

Sobbing behind the face mask she normally wears for her job as a hospital respiratory therapist helping coronavirus patients, Stevens, 31, video recorded herself earlier this week as she stumbled through the neighborhood, raw emotion in her voice, sometimes unable to form words, moaning in obvious pain.

“I think everything’s gone,” she says as the rising sun illuminates the destruction. “This doesn’t do justice to how terrifying and horrific this is, seeing how devastated everything is. Our homes are gone. Our homes are completely gone.”

The Alameda fire is one of more than

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Roswell Fire Chief Off Ventilator After Fighting Coronavirus

ROSWELL, GA — Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Burnette is no longer on a ventilator and is awake after he contracted the coronavirus, his daughter said this week.

Amanda Burnette posted to her Facebook page Wednesday that her dad is, “no longer on the ventilator, he is breathing on his own and is awake.”

“When I say MY GOD IS GOOD I MEAN MY GOD IS GOOD!!!!” Amanda posted online. “We just received the most amazing news that daddy is no longer on the ventilator, he is breathing on his own & is awake!!! THANK YOU all for the prayers but keep them coming because he still needs all your prayers!! His Dr told me this morning that miracles happen everyday and he was spot on!!! I am overjoyed with emotions right now!!! To all the Roswell Fire Department your Chief will be back before you know it!!!”

Earlier this month,

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Carnivals And Raffles Revamped As Fire Companies Look For Funds

WEST CHESTER, PA — Fund raising isn’t what it was, pre-pandemic, and emergency response agencies are caught in the pinch this year. Carnivals, pig roasts and raffles are community events that have had to be revamped.

Phoenixville Fire Department created a new fundraising event this year that is more pandemic friendly, a golf outing on Sept. 3.

“The idea for this outing was proposed by one of our part-time firefighters, Anthony Franz,” a department spokesperson said. “While this is the first golf outing we have hosted, Anthony has managed golf outings for other emergency service organizations over the years. We are heading into this fundraiser with Anthony’s past experience.”

Once announced, foursome spots filled up fast, and registration has been closed for weeks now.

“We are grateful for the response from our community,” Phoenixville Fire Department said. The event saw sponsorship from local business, at different levels: Klotzbach Funeral Home,

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Weather helping crews but LNU fire in Vacaville, Napa, Sonoma tops 131K acres

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The LNU Lightning Complex Fire is continuing to surge through the North Bay area on Thursday after scorching more than 131,000 acres of Solano, Yolo, Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

The fire jumped Interstate 80, burned through dozens of Vacaville and Fairfield homes and forced the partial evacuation of Travis Air Force Base on Wednesday. But Cal Fire officials say weather conditions give them reason to believe they can start to control the edges of the blaze on Thursday.

A Vacaville-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. troubleman (someone who helps identify the source of power outages) died while assisting first responders Wednesday, the utilities company confirmed. The troubleman, whose identity has yet to be released, is the first person to have died

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Navarro under fire over anti-Fauci op-ed

President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser came under fire Wednesday for assailing Dr. Anthony Fauci in a new op-ed, with even the White House distancing itself from the diatribe after waging its own smear campaign against the nation’s top infectious disease expert over the weekend.

Alyssa Farah, White House director of strategic communications, insisted in a tweet Wednesday morning that the West Wing’s press shop had not approved the explosive column by Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, that appeared Tuesday evening on USA Today’s website.

“The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone,” Farah wrote online. “@realDonaldTrump values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.”

Navarro’s op-ed, titled “Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” represented his most brazen effort yet to dress down the

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COVID-19 Will Rage ‘Like A Forest Fire’ In Unprepared America, Top Doc Warns

COVID-19 will rage “like a forest fire” in a U.S. that has no clear plan to deal with it and has regressed to a dismissive, “pre-pandemic” attitude, a top infectious disease expert said Sunday.

America’s leadership is unfocused, Dr. Michael Osterholm told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” unlike other parts of the world that remain vigilant against the pandemic.

The spread of COVID-19 is “like a forest fire,” warned Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

“I don’t think that this is going to slow down. I think that wherever there is wood to burn, this fire is going to burn. And right now we have a lot of susceptible people,” he said.

“I don’t see this slowing down through the summer or into the fall. I don’t think we’re going to see one, two and three waves.

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