Over 4,500,000 acres of land have been burned in the United States just in 2020 alone. That’s record breaking. It’s no surprise that California’s weather is hot but also due to climate change, dry fuels are common in warmer temperatures and make it easier for fires to spread. Only about 20% of these wildfires are naturally caused which means that the majority of them are a result of human actions. For example, leaving your campground unattended, abandoning your cigarettes, and arson. When looking at a photo in Oregon or California right now, the sky looks like it has been edited but it hasn’t. It’s actually the smoke particles from the wildfires affecting the sun’s original color/light. “Due to the growing number of wildfires in California, the USDA Forest Service has announced it is temporarily closing all National Forests in the state,” says FOX26 News in a recent article. Speaking of National Forests, the Sequoia Complex Fire has been spreading massively and is hardly contained.
One of the biggest fires in Los Angeles history, the Bobcat Fire, began on September 6th and has burned over 100,000 acres in almost three weeks. It’s unclear what actually caused this fire but it’s suspected that utility companies had something to do with it. The Los Angeles Times says that as of this morning, “U.S. Forest Service officials [are] reporting the blaze [as] 50% contained.” Luckily this fire is successfully dying down but not all of the fires in the West Coast are. Washington, California, and Oregon are struggling right now with the immense amount of wildfires that are spreading there so quickly. A couple of fires in these states include the Cold Springs Fire (Wa), Clackamas County Fire (Or), and August Complex Fire (Ca). The fires with “complex” in their name are very fitting as no one could’ve predicted that these fires would last as long as they are.
Thousands of firefighters are working extremely hard and risking their lives right now. So it would be greatly appreciated if you could thank your local firefighters for all that they’ve done for our state over the past couple of months, they deserve it. Reconstructing buildings, homes, and farms takes months and even years to do. Kern County residents, if you’d like to help all of the wildfire victims please donate money, food, and/or your assistance. Please be courteous of the landmarks or parks you visit and be cautious of where you leave potentially flammable items! Wildfires and climate change in general are serious issues and won’t go away unless we as a community take action. By action I mean some of the options listed above and educating yourself on climate change/our world as a whole.