LOS ANGELES — The Auburn State Recreation Area occupies 40 miles of steep river canyons and rugged terrain in drought-stricken El Dorado and Placer counties.

The counties, which stretch from the Sacramento suburbs into the Sierra, are two of the fastest-growing in California, experiencing a population boom that was hastened during the COVID-19 pandemic by urban ex-pats fleeing expensive cities with a newfound ability to work remotely.

They are also two of the places in California that burn the most.

 

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