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What do Wildfires and Voting Have in Common?

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It was early September that California wildfires began near me. I live in a rural village in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This region is rich in multiple national forests and parks, including national treasures like Yosemite and Sequoia.

My concerns began with a fire (the Creek Fire) in the foothills northwest of our village at what seemed a safe distance. I watched the fire maps as it spread and the evacuation areas as they expanded. I had my “to-go bags” packed and I reviewed my steps casually. I was relieved as the fire slowly became more contained. Courageous helicopter pilots lifted out over 200 people trapped in interior regions. I could not imagine their fear as they waited knowing there was no other escape. As of this writing, that fire has been burning for nearly a month.

Meanwhile lightning started multiple fires in the high mountains to the southeast of our village. As they fiercely spread, they merged into one huge fire called the Sequoia Forest Complex (SQF Complex). The threat for my community was a sub-region called the West Castle Fire. It seemed far away until the wind started blowing smoke and ash our way. Then it got serious. My attention moved from the northern fire to the southern in a hurry.

I decided to do a practice evacuation and a dear angel-friend, Jann, agreed to let me and my dog stay with her at her house down the mountains. While........

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