The entire west coast of the United States is either on fire or covered in some measure of smoke and ash at the moment. We've seen photos of the midday sky the wrong color, from eery orange to apocalypse red. Entire towns have burned down, air quality indexes are hovering in the hazardous zone for millions, and our skilled, brave firefighters are overwhelmed.

Right now, the west needs all the help it can get.

Enter the volunteer firefighters of Guanajuato, Mexico who have arrived in Southern Oregon to help try to get the raging blazes under control. Known as the Heroic Fire Department of Guanajuato, the firefighters come from a city in central Mexico that has a 50-year "sister city" relationship with the Oregon city of Ashland. According to Portland Monthly, the five firefighters dispatched to Oregon have trained in the area before, which means they can jump right in.


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If you were to imagine a typical firefighter, chances are you'd picture a white man in firefighting gear—and there's a good reason for that. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 96% of career firefighters in the U.S. are male and 82% are white. Firefighting has long been a white male dominated field for various reasons—but in some places that's starting to shift.

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Yesterday, millions of people all over the world watched as one of the most iconic buildings in history went up in flames. Today, they sprung into action.

Whether you'd never seen the cathedral in person or had walked by it everyday of your life, it was a devastating event to witness. And while many are still in mourning over the loss of Notre Dame's grand spire, many others are already making a plan to restore the cathedral to its former glory.

Unsurprisingly, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, ever the activist, was one of the first to pledge himself to the task. "This Notre-Dame Cathedral, we will rebuild it. All together. This is part of our French destiny. I am committed to this: from tomorrow a national subscription will be launched, and far beyond our borders," he wrote on Twitter (translated into English).

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Last week, a devastating fire left  hundreds of Muslims without their religious sanctuary.

The fire destroyed part of the Islamic Society of Mid-Manhattan mosque, a place of worship that catered to a sizeable portion of practicing Muslims in New York City.

When the nearby  Central Synagogue heard about the incident, they sprung into action.

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