The Camp Fire of 2018 left a blanket of hazardous smoke over the Bay area and affected my family and business. The stories of loss were heartbreaking. I was frustrated when I heard the current administration railing against California as the sole reason for the tragedy. I wanted to understand all the factors that led to destructive wildfires. I focused my PSA around that in the hopes that I could create a comprehensive, concise narrative for others to be informed. I covered how to mitigate risk from the smoke on heavy particulate days. When I researched, I was surprised to find photos of people running (for exercise) in the smoke with N95 masks on. When I read more about the N95 masks, I realized that those people were putting themselves at risk. The masks limit breathing and should not be used while exercising. I also saw pictures of children and men with facial hair wearing the masks. That is advised against as well.
This project has led to further research regarding the flame retardants used on the wildfires and their impact on ecology. I also incorporated some of what I learned in short story fiction. However, my biggest takeaway from this project would be that we have changed natural disasters into human disasters because of our decisions and actions – from climate change to our geographic choice of where to live.