R&I ~ D,BM
By Ray Sanchez, CNN
Updated 2:59 AM ET, Tue September 22, 2020
(CNN)It’s not just the nearly 7,900 wildfires that have consumed more than 3.4 million acres and claimed 26 lives in California that have Arthur Gies looking online for apartments in New York.
“It’s not necessarily this year of wildfires so much as the dam breaking on the realization that this is not just the new normal but just a prelude to what’s coming,” the 39-year-old Oakland resident says. “And just being sort of tired of this being normal.”
The website editor and video game consultant has lived in Northern and Southern California his entire life. As a teenager in the San Diego area, he was familiar with the stench of smoke and flakes of ash that rained down after wildfires.
Lately, however, weeks of unhealthy air quality readings and thick shrouds of smoke that some days make it impossible to see the lagoon three blocks from his Lake Merritt home are becoming unbearable. And he’s not alone.