You have no doubt heard and seen pictures of the fires in Southern California. And I am personally glad not to be there. But I can tell you what its like, mentally, to be in the cities, away from the fires, and having them dominate the news.
It’s a siege mentality. In my experience, Californians are blase about Earthquakes, but Wildfires scare the piss out of everyone. Worse, the air of Southern California, especially when the Santa Anas pick up, is conducive to bringing the burning smell for 40, 50 miles away from the fires. That is to say, straight into the downtown, urbanized areas.
I can imagine what the air must smell and taste like right now. For asthmatics and the like, So Cal is not the place to be, even far away from the fires.