The never ending firefight

Emily Manning, Staff Writer

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In the past couple of years, fire season in California been mild. This year, it came sooner than expected, starting in the beginning of July and getting worse by mid-August.

As of December, there have been approximately 8,434 fires with about 1,890,438 acres burned. Ninety-seven civilians and six firefighters died in the fires, according to CA.gov.

“Wildfires are natural disasters, so they are going to naturally happen if the conditions are right. So, the fact that California is always dry and hot, so it needs something small to start a spark to start these fires,” Elise Bicek, AP Environmental Science teacher said.

One of the first and one of the largest of 2018 was the Carr fire in Shasta County. This fire started from sparks from a mechanical failure on a vehicle on July 23. In the end, it burned a total of 110,154 acres, including 800 homes, and six people were killed.

The largest, and most destructive, fire that has been recorded for the nation occurred this year. This fire, called the Camp Fire, started on Nov 8. In total, it burned 153,336 acres, or 239.6 square miles, in Northern California. The fire originally started by a faulty steel ring on a transmission tower that brought the live wires crashing down to the ground. This fire also caused 18, 793 structures to burn down and 88 deaths to occur.

The fires have increasingly gained land, burn time, and frequency, according to the balance. Some of the reasons for this are drought, increasing temperatures, and shorter winters. Climate change can be attributed to all of these. With the gaining temperatures, more moisture is being evaporated from the ground and vegetation. This dries everything out and provides fuel for a starting fire.

If theses fires continue, they, the fires, might start to affect the entire state, not just the northern area. There is no known way to help prevent these fires from starting. This could even start to move East, there has already been accounts of smoke on the East coast.

“This could definitely impact the rest of the country because it tells a tale of dangerous environmental changes that could start to move East. The wildfires along with the hurricanes in the South tell us this story,” Stephanie Burns, junior, said.

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