The liberal state of fruits and nuts known as California may become non-existent as wildfires ravish the state like a never before seen raging inferno. Hellfire and brimstone is raining down on nearly every square inch of it.
The cause? Lightening. By rough estimates, 11,000, so far, bolts have struck the dry landscape igniting out-of-control fires and causing massive evacuations. Residents are helpless as their homes become ashes and acres upon acres of wildlands have animals scurrying for the safety they can’t find. There is no way out.
The initial lightning bolts all struck within a 72-hour period, and more are on the way according to forecasters. Other states have come to the rescue with a total of 375 firetrucks, but even this is not enough to contain the widespread blaze.
A spokesperson for the California Fire Department, Jeremy Rahn, in a news conference, said there are a total of 367 fires statewide, with 26 of them considered major blazes.
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Two of the major fire clusters have thus far consumed 10 counties, and they show no signs slowing down as their paths continue to widen. Sonoma County Sheriff, Mark Essick said, “This is an incredibly emotional and stressful time for many of us who have endured many fires and natural disasters over the last couple of years.”
A resident of Vacaville, California, Gus Valerian, said he was awoken by firefighters pounding on his door to let him know of the nearby fire that was about to consume his home and all 16-acres of his wooded property.
Valerian immediately grabbed his wife and his 3-year old twin daughters and headed out the front door. “We just grabbed a bunch of clothes and jumped in the truck, got the cats and dogs and headed off to Oakland.” Oakland is about 50-miles south of the family’s home.
More than 32,000 acres have already been destroyed as 30-million residents have fallen under heat advisories due to the intensity of the fire. One of the hardest-hit cities, Vacaville, has gone as far as to issue N-95 masks to inmates in the city jail due to the poor air quality caused by the thick endless clouds of smoke.
As the fire spread to other regions of the state, Thuy Ngo, watched as his 30-acres and his barn were destroyed in its path. “We didn’t think the fire would come down here this fast,” he stated. “It’s just heart-wrenching. … It’s just gone.”
Another fire in the state has thus far consumed 102 acres, affecting the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus.
Yet a third fire has rampaged through 25,000 acres in the counties of Santa Cruz and San Mateo. This fire is as of yet completely uncontained as it continues to spread.
As blackouts due to power outages continue to sweep across the state, a statewide emergency has been issued by Gov. Gavin Newsome. “These blackouts, which occurred without warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state.”
According to a report published last year, the fires were almost inevitable. “The clearest link between California wildfire and anthropogenic climate change thus far has been via warming-driven increases in atmospheric aridity, which works to dry fuels and promote summer forest fires. It is well established that warming promotes wildfire throughout the western U.S., particularly in forested regions, by enhancing atmospheric moisture demand and reducing summer soil moisture as snowpack declines.”
But California is not the only state experiencing massive fires. Fifteen states in the West have seen 77 fires in a one-week period for a total of at least 649,054 acres of land being destroyed.
This could very easily call for National aid on the part of the Trump administration who is observing the devastation very closely and are prepared to act immediately if and when requested. They’re just waiting on the call, which as far as we can see, may come sooner than later.