For the past few years more people have left California than arrived the state reels from devastating wildfires than only worsen by the year, power outages, poor air quality, and a burgeoning cost of living.
The California dream may be fading as the idyllic oceanfront state reels from warming temperatures, burning blazes, challenges in controlling the pandemic, and sky-high real estate prices.
Monica Gupta Mehta and her husband said that this year’s furious fires that darkened the skies over their Palo Alto home made them consider moving their family elsewhere.
'For the first time in 20-something years, the thought crossed our minds: Do we really want to live here?' Mehta said to the Washington Post.
'Yesterday felt so apocalyptic. People are really starting to reconsider whether California has enough to offer them,' Mehta added.
According to census data in 2019 more than 86,000 people left California for Texas, nearly 70,000 left for Arizona and about 55,000 left for Washington, according to NBC.
More people are leaving California than arriving, driven out by worsening wildfires, power outages, and the skyrocketing cost of living. Cars drive along the Golden Gate Bride under a haze of orange smoke in San Francisco on September 9
A poll conducted late 2019 by the University of California at Berkeley found more than half of California voters have given 'serious' or 'some' consideration to leaving due to the high cost of housing, heavy taxation, or political culture.
California's 40 million residents are only seeing the state's issues exacerbated in the pandemic as the Golden State now has more cases of COVID-19 than any other state.
President Donald Trump has blasted California, where he lost by 30 percentage points, as an example of Democrat-sparked urban unrest.
He has repeatedly slammed the state for its immigration policy in creating the first 'sanctuary state' for undocumented immigrants, poor forest management that leads to wildfires, and handling of the pandemic.
But its liberal policies are a reason so many people flock to the state as marijuana is legal, a measure to restore affirmative action in college admissions is on the November ballot, and the legislature just created a committee to study the cost of reparations to racial and ethnic groups the state has historically mistreated.
Wildfires in California have worsened over the past years, fueled by the warming planet and more severe weather conditions. Vehicles that were destroyed by the Bear fire, part of the North Complex fires, in Berry Creek, California above on Saturday
Los Angeles County firefighters, using only hand tools, keep fire from jumping a fire break at the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest on Friday in Monrovia
This satellite image taken Saturday shows smoke from Oregon and California wildfires moving west, south and east
Today a slew of more than two dozen wildfires are burning, scorching through millions of acres, in the worst inferno in history.
The flames have ripped through a record 3.1million acres of land, more than 3,000 homes and killed at least 22 people.
The fires are sparked by the state’s extreme weather with soaking wet seasons followed by sharp, dry heat and high wind. Wine Country has burned for four years straight.
'Hopefully, this is a wake-up call,' Anne-Marie Bonneau, who two decades ago left her home in Ontario, Canada, for the Bay Area, said to the Post.
'What is it going to take for this country to do something about the climate crisis? Millions of people are affected by this,' she added.
She believes what’s happening in California is a warning of what’s to come for the rest of the country.