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The Anthropocene News

In a summer of smoke, a small town wonders: ‘How are we going to do better than survive?’

As of Friday, more than 100 large fires were burning across 14 states. Smoke from Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, one of the nation’s largest at more than 413,000 acres burned, has already traveled to New York City and Washington, D.C. In recent days, the smoke over Minnesota and the Dakotas has pushed air quality into hazardous territory.

In Winthrop, two massive wildfires — the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek 2 — have been burning for much of the past month on either side of town. They have consumed more than 113,000 acres of forest.

Even though it’s only midsummer, Washington state has already had more than 1,200 wildfires. It’s a record for this time of year and nearly twice the average number over the past decade.