News: The Treacherous California Wildfires

by Kevin Aguilar

As of August 19th, 2018, 227,098 acres have been destroyed along with 1,079 residences, 22 commercial structures, and 63 outbuildings alongside a tragic 8 fatalities have occurred.

The air quality has drastically been worsened in Northern California as a result of the recent fires. The quality has also been worsened in a few neighboring states–Oregon, Washington, and Nevada to name a few. But what may have caused such a series of tragedies? The California fires in Northern California, most notably what is known as the “Carr fire” has had an enormous impact on Northern California. 

The start of the wildfires began on July 23rd, 2018 at approximately 1:15 P.M, and the temperature in the area soared above 100 Degrees as the cause of the fire was believed to have started after a vehicle suffered a mechanical failure according to officials. The fire started at Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road, located around Whiskeytown. What began as just a mechanical failure turned into what is currently the 6th largest California fire in history.

“Wildfires across the state have killed eight people and scorched 200,000 acres by the end of July,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Many residents of the cities of Redding, Shasta Lake, Summit City, Douglas City, Igo, Ono and French Gulch have been evacuated as a result of the fire spreading 1,500 acres within the course of a day. French Gulch however has gone through a fire in the past. This fire took place in August of 2004 and 103 structures and 1,345 acres were burned and affected. Over 30,000 residence lost their homes and place of business or work that same day.

Two firefighters were killed in action during the first day of the current fire. The first death was caused by one being crushed by a tree and the other dealt with the firefighter being trapped in the wildfire. By July 28th, 2018 the confirmed death toll rises to 5.

“More than a dozen people have been reported missing,” said county Sheriff Tom Bosenko. By August 1st, 2018, 121,049 acres would be destroyed and the overall death toll rose to 6.

“[This fire] is being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily-available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. We must also clear trees to stop this fire from spreading!” said President Donald Trump in a tweet responding to the fires in California.

Trump is claiming that all water in California is not being used efficiently and needs to be directed toward putting out this wildfire. However, the fire department of California claim that there is actually enough water for the fires throughout California. President Trump also claims that removing trees will help reduce wildfires. This tweet would then inspire interior secretary Ryan Zinke to respond to this issue.

“It doesn’t matter whether you believe in climate change [or not], what is most important is how we manage our forest,”  Zinke said.

A tire from the RV of the couple’s vehicle popped, which then led to the rims scraping against the asphalt, creating sparks that would ignite nearby dry bushes, grass, and trees.

After a course of 3 weeks the fire has destroyed many homes and individual companies, along with causing grief for the families of the those who have lost loved one’s in fighting these wildfires. 

 

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