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"Why Extreme Heat Should be Treated Like Other Natural Disasters"

The New York Times interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health and director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, about extreme heat disasters and how they are made worse by concurrent wildfires

Friday, July 16, 2021

Californians are getting used to devastating, lengthy fire seasons. And if this year and the last are any indication (and they probably are), we’re also going to have to get used to extreme heat.

This year, heat waves have walloped the Pacific Northwest in particular. But Death Valley hit a whopping 130 degrees this year, as it did last year — possibly the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth — and temperatures across the state have prompted heat warnings as they have deepened the effects of the drought.

In other words, policymakers and residents across the West — in California not least of all — should view this moment as a kind of wake-up call.