News: My State is Still Burning

It smells like wood smoke. It… almost always smells like wood smoke now.

Who texts me most frequently? Alert SF, the SF Department of Emergency Management notification system.

Sometimes Alert SF texts to let me know that the air is safe to breathe, which is my hint to air out the house and run any quick errands before the smoke returns.

It’s a strange way to live.

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More than 12,400 firefighters are continuing to battle 22 major wildfires. CAL FIRE has increased staffing in preparation for critical fire weather in multiple areas of the State.The latest numbers on the August #LightningSiege. More information at: https://t.co/6s2QmGvwFi pic.twitter.com/LbRDVBZSpP

Our firefighters are AMAZING.

Oh! Speaking of our thousands of heroic firefighters: our incarcerated firefighters (!) have been risking their lives to save others by getting certified and successfully performing wildfire firefighting duty during their prison sentences. They will finally be permitted to do this essential public service work after incarceration AND have their records cleared if California Assembly Bill 2147 reaches the governor’s desk. (Newsweek story here. It has passed in the Assembly, and there are some alignments happening with the state Senate, according to this data at trackbill.com. Various violent offenders are excluded from qualifying for the program.)

This bill corrects an otherwise exploitative practice – I’ve read elsewhere that they were paid about $3/day for their dangerous work (!), and were disqualified from working in the firefighting profession in which they are sorely needed due to their convictions. This corrective bill should pass!

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