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‘Exposed to toxic smoke and ash’: Proposed law would increase workplace protections amid wildfires

By Kim Bojorquez for The Sac Bee

Multiple wildfires, toxic smoke and a global pandemic haven’t prevented Marco Siorda, a 29-year-old farmworker, from working in the fields of Imperial County.

Despite being part of a critical workforce that puts food on the table for many Californians, Siorda said his employer doesn’t offer masks to protect him from inhaling toxic wildfire smoke. Instead, he said, he must bring a mask from home to prevent putting his health at risk.

Small Towns Grow Desperate for Water in California

By Thomas Fuller for The New York Times

Mendocino’s water shortage is an extreme example of what some far-flung towns in California are experiencing as the state slips deeper into its second year of drought. Scores of century-old, hand-dug wells in the town have run dry, forcing residents, inns and restaurants to fill storage tanks with water trucked from faraway towns at the cost of anywhere from 20 to 45 cents a gallon. Utilities in California, by contrast, typically charge their customers less than a penny per gallon of tap water.