Standing on the frigid coast of Lake Superior, thawing ice glistening in the northern Minnesota sun, Christina Welch recalls what made her trade the temperate vineyards of northern California for the notoriously chilly city of Duluth. In 2017, a wildfire got dangerously close to her neighborhood in Sonoma County. Then, two years later, while she was on a visit to Duluth on the advice of a colleague, another fire forced her parents to evacuate their home. That “was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Welch, 40, told AFP. Duluth, in the far northern reaches of the United States, is known for bitterly cold and snowy winters, fueled by powerful winds blowing off Lake Superior. But despite its tough environment, this Midwestern city of 86,000 is starting to make a name for itself as a refuge of sorts — for those fleeing the effects of climate change.