A fascinating, moving post from a San Diego resident, via Aish:
We live in La Jolla, which means "The Jewel." Our community is little more than a stone's throw from one of the prettiest pieces of coastline in the entire county and boasts the best weather too. We have a lovely shul with over 280 families, a spa-like mikvah, and an eruv on the way. This past Shabbat, as we do every week, we enjoyed our shul kiddush al fresco, socializing around the towering Torrey Pine tree that defines our shul's courtyard. We could not have predicted that such a short time later, our blue skies would turn toxic, the crisp ocean breezes replaced with menacing winds and our Torrey Pine and its courtyard laden with ash.Read the rest, and try to decide for yourself what you really care about.
Thankfully, our normally idyllic coastal enclave seems to be out the path of the fire -- at least for now. But as the communities immediately to the North and to the East of us were steadily evacuated, my husband and I were increasingly concerned: What if we were next? What if a call comes in the middle of the night asking us -- telling us -- to leave?