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As fast-moving wildfires spark evacuations and devastate communities, California residents shared these first-hand videos.
USA TODAY

NAPA, Calif. — Home Depot is sold out of face masks, people sleeping in shelters have bandanas tied around their faces and residents even 50 miles away from the fires in northern California find themselves coughing and hacking as smoke and haze blanket the area.

The air quality index for San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the area around the fires was predicted to hit 180 on Thursday, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, or nearly five times what’s considered safe. 

That’s even worse than famously polluted Beijing, whose southern suburbs were measured at 154 on Thursday by the U.S. embassy there. 

“The federal (safe) standard is 35,” said John Balmes,a…