LAST OCTOBER’S ORANGE-TINGED skies set an apocalyptic tone in the Bay Area. Suddenly, residents became well versed in face masks — anything less than an N95 particulate respirator would be pointless — and all local hardware stores struggled to keep them in stock. “Air quality conditions during the fires varied considerably by exact location, so it’s difficult to say which day was the worst,” a Bay Area Air Quality Management District meteorologist notes. “At the Air District’s stations, air quality was worst on October 9, 10, 12 and 13. But smoke affected air quality in the North Bay over the entire period from October 9 to 18.” It was during that period, in the late evening of October 13, that photographer Victor Volta captured this shot of the city skyline, from the deck of the San Francisco–Alameda ferry. Uncertainty loomed that week while the Tubbs Fire raged and engulfed whole swaths of Santa Rosa. Until this past July, the wildfire was deemed the most destructive in California history (Wikipedia still describes it as such), but that grisly superlative now belongs to the Mendocino Complex Fire, which was finally contained on September 1.
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.