California Wildfires’ Smoggy Imprint

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California Wildfires’ Smoggy Imprint

Maria Herrera, Staff Writer

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Unfortunately, California’s wildfires of 2018 have become some of the most destructive yet. The campfire near Chico has ravaged up to 153,336 acres of land, killing 85 civilians, destroying 19,000 buildings, and provoking 475 people missing. This disastrous blaze is now considered to be California’s most destructive fire in history. While this raging burst of flames was devouring everything in its path, the Wolseley fire burned 96,949 acres in Los Angeles and killed 3 people (Statistics from the time of writing).

        The aftermath of the devastation left the air quality levels at an unhealthy range. For several days the air quality was registered as unhealthy; this provoked a mass closure of school campuses, universities, and businesses. Although the majority of the fires have been contained, the sickly haze lingered around the Bay Area sky. This natural disaster caused smoggy cities. Throughout the time of this outbreak, the debris of the ravaging wildfires settled in everyone’s lungs which irritated our respiratory systems. It got to the point where several public health officials recommended we stay indoors and wear masks outside if necessary. Several public schools in the Bay Area were canceled due to poor air quality. Schools within Santa Clara County such as our school, Mount Pleasant remained open but took extra precautions by moving lunchtime activities indoors and providing open facilities to students in order to avoid the hazardous debris lingering on campus. Several of Mount Pleasant students arrived at school with air purifying masks or didn’t attend at all because the air quality was extremely unbearable for those who suffer from asthma. The smoky haze filled San Jose’s sky, and several doctors stated there has been an increase in complaints from patients with regards to respiratory issues. Not only has it affected our fellow students here at Mount Pleasant, but the elderly and young children in affected areas in California as well.

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