By Chloe Trofatter
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the wildfires burning their way through the state of California. Specifically, the Camp Fire. Two weeks ago on November 8, 2018, the deadliest wildfire in state history began its journey through towns, cities, and national parks. But how did it start?
That is where things get a little rocky. With large fires like this, the question as to where it all began can be left unanswered for months. One of the top suspects however, is a utility company based out of San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric. This company has been the cause of many wildfires in California this year due to its neglect towards its lines and power stations.
However, the blame goes far beyond the original spark. There were a number of conditions that allowed the fire to grow at its astonishing rate. First off, Northern California hasn’t had proper rainfall since May. This, combined with California’s hot summers, breeds the perfect environment for fires to spread. Then you add the high winds that gave the flames the extra push it needed, and you get the Camp Fire.
But California conditions haven’t always been this severe. According to an article by the New York Times, “California’s fire record dates back to 1932; of the 10 largest fires since then, nine have occurred since 2000, five since 2010 and two this year alone…” Global warming and climate change have exacerbated these conditions. The raising temperatures dry out the land more and more, making it more flammable and allowing the fires to spread more quickly.
According to the most recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, we have as little as 12 years to change our daily habits and curb the most extreme effects of climate change. The wildfires in California are just a small window into our future if we allow this phenomenon to worsen.
According to an article from CBS News, the Camp Fire in Northern California has already burned through almost 150,000 acres of land, destroying over 12,000 structures in its wake. With 76 fatalities confirmed and over 1,200 missing people, the people of California need our help.
For monetary donations:
And for those who unable to donate money the donation of time through volunteering and giving blood is just as valuable.