“Even for a state prone to natural disasters, California's had a catastrophic week.
At least four people have died as a result of wildfires fueled by a heat wave and a blitz of lightning strikes in the state's northern areas. The clusters of fires merged into orange infernos that are creeping up on residential areas, turning neighborhoods into ash and smoldering ruins.
And as tens of thousands of people evacuate to shelters, they're weighing the risk of coronavirus infections after California became first state to surpass 600,000 cases last week.
“Not only are we dealing with Covid, but with also the heat and now the fires,” said Cheryl Jarvis, who evacuated to a community center in Vacaville but refuses to go inside for fear of coronavirus infections. She has been sleeping in her Toyota Prius, and has no idea whether her house is still standing.”