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Letters to the Editor: Fires, heat and humidity: Is nature trying to kick people out of California?

Fires
A firefighter rubs his head while watching the LNU Lightning Complex fire spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood in Napa County on Friday.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

To the editor: Sticky sweat. High electricity bills. Fresh smog.

That’s how I would describe life in California right now if anyone asks. The unremorseful, blazing heat does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. (“Over 1 million California acres have burned since July as monster fires rage in Bay Area,” Aug. 22)

Fortunately, I do not have to endure what my neighbors in the north are experiencing. Dry thunderstorms? That does not sound pleasant. Actually, the south has it pretty bad too. The rolling blackouts drove my neighbors insane.

This whole ordeal with the burst of wildfires, thunderstorms and lethal temperatures makes me think that Mother Nature is slowly giving up on humankind. On one hand, I do not blame her, since humans have taken her beauty for granted for centuries. However, at the same time, I plead for there not to be another power outage.

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All jokes aside, I am very grateful for the works of California’s firefighters. They epitomize the saying that “not all heroes wear capes.”

Megan Ha, Monterey Park

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To the editor: As lightning fires rampage up north and multiple blazes burn in Southern California, it’s shocking to see L.A. County’s leaders pushing forward with dangerous new housing developments in fire-prone areas.

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While county supervisors acknowledge that development in fire-prone areas can endanger firefighters and residents, county officials are joining sprawl developers in court next month to defend approvals for Northlake and Centennial — two massive developments in remote areas north of Los Angeles with a history of wildfire.

These developments will put more homeowners at risk and ramp up the risk of fires starting in the first place. About 95% of California’s wildfires are ignited by human sources like power lines and cigarettes.

Such irresponsible development endangers all Californians. Farmworkers already burdened with working during a pandemic now labor in smoky fields. Those with underlying health conditions struggle to breathe. Enough is enough.

Tiffany Yap, Oakland

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The writer is a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

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To the editor: Positive climate feedback is putting us in a death spiral.

One million acres burned not only puts a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, it also removes a million acres from the carbon sink that forests represent for some considerable time. Heat waves are fought with countermeasures such as air conditioning, which gets less efficient as temperatures rise.

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So, heat waves contribute directly to the subsequent worsening of heat waves.

We are in much worse trouble than we know, and we are being led by fools who don’t even know enough to be concerned. Complex systems have an overwhelming bias toward sustaining the status quo, and that is now killing us.

It will take intelligent leadership to get us out of this.

Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: Numerous smaller California communities still have volunteer fire departments made up of citizens who are physically fit, well trained and willing to assume personal liability for sometimes dangerous work.

As California faces a growing plague of epic wildfires, why not create a statewide volunteer wildfire fighting force? Put out the call for 2021, and I’ll bet many thousands of fellow citizens, after the necessary screening and training, will be willing to drop everything and assist on a moment’s notice in any corner of California.

Smaller communities do not rely on prison inmates and fire crews from Australia for help, and neither should Cal Fire.

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Dave Quick, Santa Monica


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