For the second time this week (and the second time in two years), my kids’ school is closed because of remarkably poor air quality. This time, we’re breathing in the ash and soot of people’s tragedies nearly 200 miles away. Here’s the latest on the NorCal fires: 66 People Have Died, And More Than 600 Others Are Missing. And here’s some drone footage showing the devastation in Paradise, CA.

+ “It’s like a total cremation of a town. It’s hard to see.” Buzzfeed: Nothing can prepare the people who have to search for charred bodies after the California wildfires.

+ NYT: “The fire that swept through the town of Paradise and neighboring hamlets has once again laid bare one of California’s biggest vulnerabilities: With each disaster — wildfire, mudslide or earthquake — there are thousands of people who cannot find homes in a market that for years has had very little vacancy.”

+ “I asked him if the effort was coördinated with the fire department. ‘Nope,’s he said. ‘They were there. But here’s the thing: they do them and we do us. It is a Lord of the Flies situation up there right now. There’s downed power lines everywhere. There’s not a lot of comms. There’s houses that are burnt down. There’s people wandering around—you don’t know if it’s a looter. There’s a group of guys that’s going to go back in there and defend the homes.'” Dana Goodyear with a very interesting look at SoCal’s citizen firefighters.