The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were canceled for 260,000 students in 600 schools.
And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many that may not resume classes for days or even weeks.
It's the latest in a series of crises across the country — including hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico — that have left millions of children, teachers and parents scrambling both to resume teaching and learning and to confront the trauma that disasters like these can leave in the minds of children.
In California, the fires have created a unique set of challenges for schools. In addition to the disruption and trauma, there is the potential health risks of smoke and air quality and damage to school structures. Before children can return, many schools face a costly and lengthy process of "remediation" to ensure that the buildings are safe and the air is clean.
Sonoma County was hit particularly hard. There, flames leveled nearly 7,000 structures — mostly homes. In the county seat, Santa Rosa, one school and one educational farm site were completely destroyed.