This past week we queried readers on our Facebook page a few times on whether the fires were affecting them, how they were coping with the stress and the air quality and pandemic. Here’s a some of the responses:

-- Jess Rowland: Of course things can be done to lessen the likelihood (of fire). For one let’s start clearing our forests again -- get rid of the dead trees that the beetles have eaten; it’s just fuel for the fire ...

-- Ellen Gardin: Had to evacuate. Really want to pressure my next door neighbors to cut down all the trees next to my house... My lot is tiny so there isn’t much I can do when I’m living next to a forest.

-- Jana Shannon: First, people need to stop placing blame. Period. Blame is not productive, right or wrong. Take responsibility for your own stuff. Think about doing something rather than complaining- or worse- trolling- about it. ... Before the fires, I felt like I was under house arrest (compromised) with the air quality it is like solitary confinement. I can’t even spend time in my garden. Which is looking pretty gnarly.

-- Teri Stout-Ives: We lucked out both times. Cascade Fire was super close to us though very scary seeing the flames at your neighbors; and Willow Fire. This time wasn’t as frightful but still of course had my anxiety and blood pressure extremely high. As for my neighbors, I had to wake up a family with four kids to tell them to get prepared, they were prepared the night before so they left. It was their first time. As for us we stayed this time -- we learned lots from last time. We monitored the winds, the direction. We had the car packed and ready. We already did more than the required property management ...

-- Lyssa Clark: Last spring my husband and I took a lot of drives into the hills around Oroville, Paradise, and Browns Valley. We saw a lot of homes with trash and wood piled up on their property, couldn’t believe it after the last fire. Why weren’t they being fined for that? And PG&E needs to get their act in gear and quit looking for ways to recoup their losses at our expense!

-- David Goodman: Forest management! I realize some aren’t old enough to remember what that is but when you fly over the Sierras and half the trees are dead, our current plan isn’t working! ...

-- Gail Parrish: Living in Hell is not what it’s cracked up to be.

April Weckel: My parents were camping at Rogers cow camp site off 162 and were caught off guard by the fire and the winds they escaped their campsite and hunkered down in a very small stream with wet blankets and sleeping bags they were rescued 11 hours later, thank God. That was the most horrifying day of my family’s life, not knowing if my parents and my Uncle were alive.

-- Jeannine Friemark: We are praying for those in the fire areas. We know people evacuated from several of the areas. The yellow/orange skies keep them in our thoughts for sure. ...

-- Sandra Dee: Just grateful my home is still standing and my kids are here and accounted for. ...

-- Joseph Moye: This has been exceedingly challenging to cope with, the strange orange lighting, the difficulty breathing and the knowledge that so many are directly affected and could lose everything is a heavy load to bear. I have been trying to continue my self-help strategies (bike riding, chalk art and music) but the air quality is making that difficult as well. I pray we get through this, and Covid-19 with our health and mental faculties intact.

-- Barbara Carden: I’m just feeling sad that such a beautiful state is burning. I can live with the ash and everything else but so many people are losing their homes and all their belongings. Very sad.

Heather Munoz: I’m coping by designing a plan to leave this state. It just isn’t worth it anymore. This fire business happens every year and it’s not worth the lung damage, and as far as the Covid restrictions, other states aren’t placing draconian measures on their citizens. The planning process gives me a glimmer of hope in the midst of everything that’s depressing.

-- Jen Lawton: I am thankful. Thankful for having a home to shelter in place at. Thankful for skies that aren’t covered in black and red surrounding me. Thankful that there is some visibility. And thankful that it’s not worse.

-- Pamela Gustafson Crane: It is what it is. I understand the dynamic. I... on the other hand am disgusted with PG&E. Threatening to cut our power on these high temp days when we can’t go out or go anywhere.

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