Historic Wildfires Destroy Californian Lives

Courtesy of CalFire Map

Courtesy of CalFire Map

Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

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How do you rebuild a life?

That’s the burning question for many Californians.

The Camp, Woosey, and Hill Fire have established tragic new records in the history of California wildfires. The 1933 Griffith Park Fire of Los Angeles was recognized as the deadliest wildfire the state had faced until this week. 47 acres had been scorched, and 29 individuals were killed, but the currently raging Camp Fire of Butte County has taken 57 lives, 138,000 acres, burning 10,000 infrastructures (CBS), and each of those numbers threatens to rise.

 

52,000 Californians have been forced to evacuate, and have lost everything they depend on to function each day. Homes, daily necessities such as hygienical commodities and clothing, school, work, and even loved ones.

 

The first question is how these fires began, although California’s Mediterranean climate makes for two seasons: a long dry summer and a mild, wet winter, dry summers make for prime wildfire conditions, but the wildfire season has passed and fires of this size are rarely seen by November.

PG&E has been blamed for the disaster, due to a fire underneath high tension power lines in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Although firefighters were at the scene, winds up to 35 mph excelled the fire further downward and a conflagration occurred.

President Trump has stated that poor forest management spurred these drastic fires.

On the other hand, many scientists blame climate change for the situation. Low humidity, warm Santa Ana winds, and dry ground after a rain-free month can be indicted for producing a prime fire-spreading environment. Recent years have produced record-breaking temperatures, earlier springs, and less reliable rainfall. Primarily due to the lack of rain this autumn, the risk for fires and the spread of them was much higher. After the start of the fires, harsh winds swept the fire upward and caused smoke to cover areas of the state far and wide.

 

Thankfully, rain forecasts scheduled for next week will expectedly douse the fires and reduce the spread of smoke.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared: “This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal.”, which can only transcend the state into rebuilding what was lost, and the nation, in finding a cure to unnatural climate change.