Giving Compass' Take:

• This article discusses how already more than 1.6 million acres have burned in California all while cities scramble to protect resident health amid the challenges of COVID-19.

• How can donors best help those on the West Coast dealing with these two extreme crises? 

• Here's an article on how to help and respond to the current Californian wildfires. 

A pyrotechnic device used at a gender reveal party sparked a massive wildfire at El Dorado Ranch Park in California's San Bernardino County over the weekend, blazing nearly 9,000 acres of land by Monday afternoon. As concerned Californians turn to social media for information on the incident, the fire and its associated health risks are spreading rapidly across an already struggling state.

A staggering 1.68 million acres have burned in California this year alone, resulting in more than 100,000 evacuations, seven deaths and thousands of individuals as far as Idaho and Utah facing dangerously high air pollution levels. On Aug. 19, air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area measured the worst in the world, while neighboring cities retained unhealthy levels of inhalable particulate matter (PM2.5) for a number of days.

News of dangerous PM2.5 levels made national headlines far before August, however, as exposure to high concentrations of particulate pollution have been linked to chronic respiratory diseases that can make people more vulnerable to COVID-19. Now, local officials are grappling with ways to keep residents healthy despite the compounded challenges and costs of a brutal wildfire season amid a pandemic.

Read the full article about wildfires and COVID affecting West Coast cities by the team at Smart Cities Dive.