After the Fires, Thankful for Fresh Air

  • Named after its place of origin, Camp Creek Road in Butte County, Northern California, the “Camp Fire” started on Nov. 8, 2018. The fire was the worst in California history, and the worst U.S. fire since 1918.

  • The fire was first reported at 6:30 AM, within 1 1/2 hoursit had destroyed 20,000 acres. It continued to spread until Nov. 21.

  • The fire's impact: 1) about 160,000 acres burned, 2) over 17,000 structures destroyed, 3) at least 84 fatalities, 4) over 600 people are still missing and 5) over $7.5 billion in insured damages.

  • Smoke from the fires reached San Francisco (about 170 miles away) and continued further south, covering the region for 13 days.

  • Air quality reached "Hazardous" levels near the fire area and "Very Unhealthy" levels in San Francisco.

  • In recent days, a mix of winds and falling rain have restored "Good" air quality - and the fires are now contained,


  • The fires will have a lasting impact in the region and beyond. Questions are being asked about 1) the liability of PG&E, because sparks came their power lines, 2) how will survivors recover, 3) how many missing people will be recovered, 4) the impact of climate change and 5) management of "at risk" areas. 

  • While the loss of Good air quality in the the region was dramaticUnhealthy air quality is a persistent global problem.

  • The following list presents air quality readings from around the world on Friday, Nov. 23.: 

AQI table.PNG
  • Today, we are thankful for the return of fresh air in Northern California!

Paul Dravis