Wildfires continue to devastate California

Photo courtesy of AP Images. The ongoing destruction caused by a fire in Santa Ana, Calif., that took place only a few weeks ago.

BY NANCY MAZMANIAN

FRONT PAGE EDITOR

A recent outburst of devastating wildfires in California has caused thousands to be removed from their homes, billions of dollars worth of property damage and destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

A recent outburst of devastating wildfires in California has caused thousands to be removed from their homes, billions of dollars worth of property damage and destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

Over the past few years, the wildfires in California have gotten more significant, more destructive and common.

California has been known to have a frequent number of fire outbreaks, especially in the last few years. Recent fires like the Getty, San Francisco, and our very own San Bernadino Valley fire, have been maintained. However, with temperatures reaching an all-time high, these fire outbreaks are inevitable.

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, climate change has doubled the area of forest burned in the western United States between 1984 to 2015.

In some cases, these fires can become so intense that they burn 10,000 acres worth of land in as little as an hour. Storms of such high intensity are practically impossible for firefighters to put out. Leaving them with no option but to let the fire ride out its course and focus on moving people, who are at risk, to a safer area.

“These are not really best described as wildfires. Most people describe them as firestorms,” said Jon Keeley in a recent interview with CNBC, “It is not something that firefighters have much chance of putting out until the wind dies down.” Keeley is a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

A growing population also contributes to wildfires’ concerns. People who are moving towards forested areas, which were not inhabited before, are put at risk.

California, as a single state, has a population of 39 million people. Every 1 in 8 Americans lives in California.

95% of California’s wildfires are caused by humans, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. They don’t have to be started intentionally, but from small objects, like a cigarette butt, a spark from a car, or a leftover brush from a campfire. It’s small oblivious actions like these that can cause such massive devastation.

As mass areas of vegetation continue to dry out, fires will only continue to get more intense. Eventually, becoming too vast and devastating for us to be able to contain.

The amount of land that has burned in California over the summer is roughly eight times higher than in the 1970s, according to National Geographic.

Fire scientists have started implementing multiple fire preventative measures. They have tried to lessen the risks that wildfires pose with small controlled ground fires designed to eliminate the fuels that contribute to devastating wildfires. Communities are also being built with less-flammable materials and designed with evacuation rights in case of a fire.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to happen over several years, and it’s going to take constant maintenance from here on out,” said Scott McLean, chief information officer at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, on the same CNBC interview.

Communities can implement many preventative techniques as they have.

However, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, believes real change will not happen until we address the real situation at hand, and that is the consistently rising global temperatures. The panel has released a scientific report stating governments must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Over the past few years, the wildfires in California have gotten bigger, more destructive and common.

California has been known to have a frequent number of fire outbreaks, especially in the last few years. Recent fires like the Getty, San Francisco, and our very own San Bernadino Valley fire, have been maintained. However, with temperatures reaching an all-time high, these fire outbreaks are inevitable.

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, climate change has doubled the area of forest burned in the western United States between 1984 to 2015.

In some cases, these fires can become so intense that they burn 10,000 acres worth of land in as little as an hour. Storms of such high intensity are practically impossible for firefighters to put out. Leaving them with no option, but to let the fire ride out its course and focus on moving people, who are at risk, to a safer area.

“These are not really best described as wildfires. Most people describe them as firestorms,” said Jon Keeley in a recent interview with CNBC, “It is not something that firefighters have much chance of putting out until the wind dies down.”Keeley is a research scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

A growing population also contributes to the wildfires concerns. People who are moving towards forested areas, which were not inhabited before, are put at risk.

California, as a single state, has a population of 39 million people. Every 1 in 8 Americans lives in California.

95% of California’s wildfires are caused by humans, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. They don’t have to be started intentionally, but from small objects, like a cigarette butt, a spark from a car or leftover brush from a campfire. It’s small oblivious actions like these that can cause such large devastation.

As mass areas of vegetation continue to dry out, fires will only continue to get more intense. Eventually, becoming too vast and devastating for us to be able to contain.

The amount of land that has burned in California over the summer is roughly eight times higher than in the 1970s, according to National Geographic.

Fire scientists have started implementing multiple fire preventative measures. They have tried to lessen the risks that wildfires pose with small controlled ground fires designed to eliminate the fuels that contribute to devastating wildfires. Communities are also being built with less-flammable materials and designed with evacuation rights in case of a fire.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to happen over several years and it’s going to take constant maintenance from here on out,” said Scott McLean, chief information officer at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, on the same CNBC interview.

Communities can implement many preventative techniques as they have.

However, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, believes real change will not happen until we address the real situation at hand and that is the consistently rising global temperatures. The panel has released a scientific report stating governments must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

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