The Charles Street Times

California Engulfed in Flames

Joseph Frescott, Sports Editor

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Since the beginning of November, the wildfires in California have had a devastating impact, killing and destroying a record amount of people and structures. The wildfires have been called “Camp Fire”and “Woolsey Fire,” and are the deadliest in California’s history. Wildfires in California are nothing new; however, there have been 7,579 fires which have burned approximately 1,667,855 acres of land throughout the state this year alone. What causes each fire is unknown, but it only takes a spark to cause massive damage to the surrounding areas.

Wildfires in California are extremely common and are mostly caused by humans. Any sort of unattended campfires, cigarettes, and burning debris can be attributed to the start of a fire. The main reason that California is so susceptible is because of the density of trees and forests, as well as the powerful winds in California. The winds are typically warm and very strong, perfect for turning a small spark into a deadly uncontrollable fire. When the fires aren’t caused by human error, they  can also be caused by lightning. Thunderstorms and lightning strikes in the middle of the dense California forests can be fatal to anyone living in the surrounding areas, making wildfires even more unpredictable.

The wildfires that have decimated California have had a staggering effect on the places affected. The two fires have burned over 246,949 acres in total, burning around 14,246 structures overall, including houses and schools. With these buildings and homes destroyed, come various notable celebrities whose California homes have been burned down from the fires. According to the New York Times, Singer Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and actor Gerard Butler are just a few celebrities impacted by the fires. Miley took to Twitter to talk about the fires stating, “My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family and friends stand strong.” It is encouraging to see how Cyrus and other celebrities have stayed positive through these rough times.

As reported by CBS News, these wildfires have not only destroyed buildings, but have killed 80 confirmed people as of now, with nearly 1,000 left unaccounted for. These numbers are practically unheard of for wildfires, as none in the history of California have come close. What these statistics don’t show is the loss of animal life and vegetation due to these fires. These losses have a devastating impact on the environment and can even endanger some species in California that call these forests home.

Looking at the destruction that these wildfires have caused, it is important to explore potential solutions to decline the amount of wildfires in California and other areas affected. Conserve-energy-future.com lists many important solutions, including raising awareness towards the rules and regulations regarding fires and when you can light them. These regulations include only lighting fires in certain areas, and only burning materials that can decompose naturally. If more people understand and cooperate to these rules, the rate of these human caused wildfires would significantly go down, which can ultimately save lives and homes.

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