When wildfire strikes, water infrastructure that’s made out of plastic is particularly at risk of contamination. If pipes and tanks lose pressure, or get hot, chemicals can leach into the water supply.
A small crew of firefighters pack into a red fire engine and barrel up a road west of Brookdale in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They’re on mop up duty; scouting for new sources of smoke, looking for burned trees and any hot spots that could reignite the blaze.
When the CZU Lightning Complex Fire ripped through northern Santa Cruz County and mandatory evacuations were triggered, a patchwork of people in Bonny Doon assembled to fight the blaze. They defied orders to defend their neighborhoods.