As of Oct. 11, 2017, just days after the North Bay wine-country fires began in CA, the Bay Area’s blue skies were being cloaked by the smoky-haze of the fires. In only three days, the fires were thought to produce as much small particle matter (PM 2.5), as the 35 M vehicles on CA roads generate in one year.
Some areas have heavier fuel/ growth than others. “For example, I would expect the Redwood Valley Fire burning in Mendocino to produce 2-3 times more smoke per acre burned,” said Sean Raffuse, air quality analyst at the Crocker Nuclear Lab at UC Davis.
The amount of smoke is significant because PM 2.5 is associated with respiratory & cardiovascular problems in people.
The sunrise is enveloped by smoke in Napa. -photo by Rich Pedroncelli/ AP
-photo-Rich Pedroncelli of APMan and dog during evacuation from Sonoma.
“Unless, an air mask is certified as #N95, it’s less than useless.” -Fire Official
Not even the cloak of smoke can hide the devastation from fire on this Santa Rosa neighborhood. –photo by Nick Giblin/ Drone Base/ via AP
The smoke cloaks the sun as a chimney stands to witness its destroyed home in Santa Rosa. -photo by John G. Mabanglo/ EPA-EFE/REX
Cloaked is also fitting, as an allegory in this writing prompt. It represents the grief & sorrow that attends this “serious, critical, catastrophic event.” (Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott) People and animals have died, people have lost everything, and the trauma cannot be cloaked. The Bay Area, however, stands ready to envelop our neighbors with our love and support. We honor the firefighters of California & ALL other states that came to help. Some have lost their own homes in the North Bay. We’re reminded that their profession is made up of special men & women who put their own lives at risk to save ours. We honor and appreciate them!
**a big shout out to firefighters throughout CA fighting fires!!**