California Wildfires: Scorching The State


Image taken from Getty. Fires rage in Northern California.

Emerson Marquez, Opinions Editior

California is just getting over some of the worst fires that have happened in the states history, and even though most of them are contained, the damage has been done. A total of 5,697 fires have burned an area of 1,112,498 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

At this point in time most of the fire’s origins have not been found but some like the Carr Fire were apparently started by a flat tire say California officials. And to put this in perspective the fire has burned over 229,651 acres of land, destroyed 614 structures, and killed 8 people. But what may have worsened the problems was the ongoing drought and triple digit heat.

Photo Courtesy: San Francisco Chronicle                                                                A firefighting aircraft drops fire retardant ahead of the River Fire as it burns through a canyon on August 1, 2018 in Lakeport, California

Currently the biggest fire is the Mendocino Complex Fire which is north of San Francisco has burned over 451,388 acres of land, making it the biggest fire in California’s History. It’s 83% contained. Only nine fires are ongoing, with all of them being over 50% contained. And another big fire that is leaving a impact is the Holy Fire. The fire has affecting the area around Orange County and Riverside and has burned about 23,026 acres of land. The fire was reportedly started on August 6, 2018 and there has been an arrest connected to the origins of the fire.  The suspected arsonist, Forrest Gordon Clark, has been booked into the Orange County jail in Santa Ana, California.

Photo Courtesy: NASA                                                                                             The smoke that all the fires are emitting across California can be seen from space.

The fire season in California usually occurs between June through September, but every year since 2009 the season has lasted much longer and caused much more damage. And instances of wildfires could increase by 50% by 2050 says the State of California Energy Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency in a report. And these new reports released by the state of California all seem to blame climate change for the ongoing problems. And what the damage is causing isn’t limited to wildfires, it could also be blamed for sea level rise that will erode the beaches and impact public shoreline access, as well as critical water shortages and major droughts plaguing Central Valley farms.

Photo Courtesy: CNN                                                                                                                                    Firefighters observe the Carr fire, as its spreads the towns of Douglas City and Lewiston near Redding, California.