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Letters to the Editor: Wildfires aren’t just suffocating California. We’re wheezing through a global crisis

The Creek fire approaches Shaver Lake in September.
A man watches from Shaver Lake in Fresno County as firefighters conduct a back-burn operation while the Creek fire approaches on Sept. 6.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Are empty asthma inhalers recyclable? This fire season my family has acquired quite a stash, because as your article on fire-weary Californians contemplating leaving the state says, “a record shattering 4 million acres burned in three months.” All Californians are experiencing or will feel ill health effects from this.

Relocating is tricky because “fires are worsening throughout the Mountain West.” Wildfires are no longer just California’s problem. We are wheezing through a global climate crisis. In recent memory, Greece, Sweden and Portugal have all had similar wildfire tragedies.

In the U.S. it’s time for a federal commitment to a Green New Deal. Green industry is the future if we wish to raise our children with clean air and water and create millions of good jobs. It’s time for the U.S. to be the global leader on combatting this crisis.

Once that’s done, where do I drop off my empty inhalers?

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Maud Winchester, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I have lived in California for 70 years, and I have seen homes built on flood plains, in earthquake-prone areas and on unstable sand dunes and cliffs.

It is prudent to avoid such areas or at least try to build houses so as to minimize the risks. Builders do this for earthquake and flood resistance, but it seems that little is done to make houses more fire resistant.

Nowhere in the United States have I seen metal roll-down shutters installed to protect homes. Fires enter homes through the windows that burst from the heat, and metal shutters would prevent this. Shutters have been used in hurricane-prone areas, and there is no reason not to use them in fire-prone areas.

It is time for local governments to change their building codes. Fire damage has resulted from negligence and corrupt officials allowing any structure to be built anywhere as long as the developers profit and donate some of these monies to election campaigns.

Bruce Stenman, Prunedale, Calif.


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