When I reflect on my childhood as a California native, I can’t recall a time where we had frequent fires. I associated the smell of a fire with roasting s’mores; memories filled with laughter and hour-long conversations with friends and family.

In 2018, wildfires devastated California and today, as I read headlines about the need to be prepared for the fire season, I can’t help but wonder how we allowed it to reach this point.

These wildfires are the side effects of climate change. How can we help combat these disasters?

We must invest heavily in renewable energies. Particularly rooftop solar, which is one of the best ways that we can help prevent blackouts, save money on utilities and clean up our air.

I hope that generations of children can remember the smell of fires for better memories than our home—our state—going up in flames. We need to move to a greener, more sustainable future.

Roz Soheili

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