Watch This Harrowing Escape From Northern California Forest Fire
The wildfires are the latest example of the need to address climate changeby Kirby, on
The wildfires engulfing the state of California have shown no signs of slowing down as high winds continue to spread the fire. As of today, more than 30 people have died from the wildfires sweeping the state, while more than 200 people remain unaccounted for. Two separate wildfires on opposite ends of the state are still ongoing, one in Northern California and one in Southern California. The fire in the north, called the Camp Fire, has effectively burned down the entire town of Paradise, consuming 109,000 acres and destroying more than 6,700 homes and businesses in the area. Meanwhile, the fire in the south, called the Woolsey Fire, has consumed 83,000 acres of land and destroyed at least 177 buildings. A third fire near the Woolsey Fire, called the Hill Fire, has done its own damage, scorching 4,530 acres of land.
There’s no going around the devastation that these wildfires have caused. An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, and there’s still no end in sight as to when these fires are going to be fully contained. As per The San Francisco Chronicle’s up-to-date fire tracker, only 25 percent of the massive Camp Fire up in northern California are contained. Meanwhile, the Woolsey Fire in southern California is only 15 percent contained. It’s a good thing that the small Hill Fire in the same area is already 75 percent contained, or we’d be looking at an even worse situation than we imagined.
It tells you how dire the situation is when you have videos like the one posted above of a driver passing through all the carnage. You don’t need to be a genius to realize that he’s driving with his family on a road that’s literally surrounded by fire.
It doesn’t get any more real — and scarier — than seeing it on video or, worse, living it out in real-time.
Unfortunately, even as firefighters have made headway in containing the fires over the weekend, powerful winds have returned and undermined a lot of the progress that has been made. That’s especially true in the Woolsey Fire where officials have warned that gusts of wind clocking in at 40 mph are real possibilities. At this point, all you can do is hope and pray for the safety of everyone, be it the victims who lost their homes and the firefighters who have worked ’round the clock to contain these wildfires.
“Firefighters on Sunday contained significant flare-ups in wind-prone canyons along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and Bell Canyon in Ventura County, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said. “Conditions are expected to persist overnight and Monday, threatening new flare-ups that could reach beyond containment lines. “We must remain vigilant and not let our guard down.
It certainly doesn’t help that these wildfires are continuously getting provoked by climate change.
“The fact of the matter is if you look at the state of California, climate challenge is happening statewide,” Osby said, adding that “it is going to be here for the foreseeable future.”
Drought conditions remain the biggest culprit behind the alarming increase of wildfires in the state.
The year’s fire season, which started sometime in the early summer, is poised to break state records for the second year in a row, prompting the state’s outgoing governor, Jerry Brown, to refer to megafires as the “new normal.”
If that isn’t bad enough, scientists expect these wildfires to continue and, possibly, get worse over time. “If you look at the 20 biggest fires in the state, 15 of those have happened since 2000,” UCLA geography professor Glen MacDonald told Reuters. “There are now bigger fires, and more and more record breakers coming in. Fire season is getting longer. We are also seeing record-breaking temperatures. It is getting hotter and hotter. Spring starts earlier. Our fire season now goes into the winter.”
At the end of the day, all we can do is hope and pray for the safety of everyone that’s been affected by these wildfires.