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Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate.
Press Democrat

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate.

An army of firefighters with a larger aerial arsenal at their disposal held made some gains Saturday on devastating wildfires ravaging Wine Country, but a rising death toll offered clear reminder of the peril that still grips the region.

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate

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Photos: Smoke from Wine Country fires traveled as far as Mexico.
NASA

Photos: Smoke from Wine Country fires traveled as far as Mexico.

It can be challenging to put the devastation of the Wine Country fires into perspective, but when viewed from such great heights, one's cognitive distance quickly shrinks.

Wind carried smoke from the Wine Country fires as far as Mexico, over 550 miles south of the North Bay. 

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California fires leave 31 dead, a vast landscape charred, and a sky full of soot.

The reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area.

SONOMA, Calif. — Some of the worst wildfires ever to tear through California have killed 31 people and torched a vast area of the state’s north this week, but the reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area.

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Napa fires make San Francisco air worse than Beijing, causing a run on masks.

Home Depot is sold out of face masks, people sleeping in shelters have bandanas tied around their faces.

NAPA, Calif. — Home Depot is sold out of face masks, people sleeping in shelters have bandanas tied around their faces and residents even 50 miles away from the fires in northern California find themselves coughing and hacking as smoke and haze blanket the area.

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In cities, it's the smoke, not the fire, that will get you.

As climate-change fuels increasingly large and frequent wildfires that hit closer and closer to densely populated urban centers, the smoke they produce is becoming a public health crisis.

NO ONE KNOWS what sparked the violent fires ablaze in the hills of California wine country. In the last five days, the flames have torched more than 160,000 acres across Napa and Sonoma counties, reducing parts of Santa Rosa to piles of cinder and ash and leaving more than 20 dead and hundreds missing. And far from the white-hot embers of destruction, residents from San Francisco to Sacramento to Fresno have been waking up this week to choking fumes, commuting to work under skies tinged orange with dust and soot.

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'Shocking' spike in Hunter Valley's coal-linked air pollution fails to prompt action.

Air pollution from the Hunter Valley coal mines gets so bad for Wendy Wales on occasion that she has called neighbours warning them of a bushfire, mistaking the dust for smoke.

'Shocking' spike in Hunter Valley's coal-linked air pollution fails to prompt action

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EPA clears way for more pollution.

If you want the Trump administration to favor coal plants, then that's what you are getting. Just don't call it a competitive market when dirty energy is allowed to pollute for free in order to compete with clean energy.

Who pays for the 52,000 deaths a year in the United States caused by small particulates and other air pollution released by coal-fired power plants?

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