As I write this column in Denver in late September, our usually clear bluebird skies are blunted by a smoky haze from the deadly and record-setting wildfires in the western United States, including the Cameron Peak fire near Fort Collins. For many days in August and September, Denver was overwhelmed with smoke and ash from fires in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington. Smoky haze, however, pales in comparison to the loss of life, injury, and dislocation experienced by those directly within the wildfire zones and the firefighters risking their lives to battle the millions of acres of blazes. By the time this column appears in Trends, it is my sincere hope that these wildfires and the devastation they are causing have been contained or extinguished by cooler and wetter weather.
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