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Valley Fire Explodes to 10,000 Plus Acres Over Weekend, From Prison Crews to Professional Fire Fighters, Latinos Struggle With U.S. Census

 September 7, 2020 at 10:14 AM PDT
The Valley Fire in the Japatul Valley exploded over the weekend, jumping from just a few hundred acres to over 10,000 with only about 1% contained on Monday morning. And while prisoners have been able to join fire-fighting crews for years, many former prisoners still find it difficult to land a professional fire-fighting job. But last week, the California legislature passed a bill that would make it easier for them to get a job on the outside. Also, many Latino workers are finding it difficult to stay afloat financially and maintain housing security during the pandemic, and that could impact their ability to fill out the census. During fire season, smoke becomes a problem for everyone. But, some low-income communities of color could be more vulnerable to damaging smoke-filled air. And, what does fire season mean for California’s old state parks and centuries-old trees? A profile of Big Basin Redwoods State Park serves as a reminder of just how much Californians care about their local nature.