This article is from the archive of our partner .

East Coast residents no doubt felt justified to complain about the one-two punch of natural disasters they felt this week: first an earthquake, then a hurricane (or, depending on where one lived, at least a tropical storm). But Californians may be entitled to maintain a superiority complex, at least when it comes to being beset on all sides by nature.

The state is currently suffering a brutal heat wave, with a high temperature of 106 degrees in the San Fernando Valley and up to 115 degrees in Palm Springs. Coupled with a spate of recent lightning storms, the conditions are well-suited to wildfires, like the one that burned more than 300 acres on Saturday.

For those hoping to cool off with a trip to Mission Beach near San Diego, consider the shark. Lifeguards have twice closed the beach after spotting the fin of a shark, estimated at 14 feet long, maneuvering near the popular swimming area.

Is no coast safe?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.