California Fires

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Every year families enjoy holidays and weekends huddled around a campfire with bags of marshmallows. They wish for the moment to be prolonged, but camping is becoming dangerous. A single spark from you or a neighbor could send forests ablaze and cause the next deadly wildfire.

Wildfires are a big concern for the West Coast in the US right now. From late summer to winter of 2018, California burned from both ends. In mid-July to August 2018, a series of large wildfires erupted across California, mostly in the northern part of the state, including the destructive Carr Fire and the Mendocino Complex Fire. On August 4, 2018, a national disaster was declared in Northern California, due to the extensive wildfires burning there.

In November 2018, strong winds aggravated conditions in another round of large, destructive fires that occurred across the state. This new batch of wildfires includes the Woolsey Fire and the Camp Fire, the latter of which killed at least 88 people and destroyed more than 18,000 structures,

According to the article, How California Cities Can Tackle Wildfire Prevention, written by Karim Doumar, on November 16, 2018, “As policy-makers and researchers debrief on the destruction, there’s a harrowing consensus among scientists: Deadly fire season in the West will only grow longer, fires will only become more deadly, and something has to be done. Cities in wildland-urban interface zones, especially in California, are particularly vulnerable.”

Schools and education have quickly plummeted as schools cancel Physical Education and sometimes school in general because of the smoke. Yury a 5th grader at Herman/Adventure shows his agitation as his sports classes were canceled right before an important competition. “Honestly I  understand the reason why the classes were canceled but I’m still disappointed because other teams get to practice a lot more,” he said.

Fire prevention is crucial in order to uphold education in California. We can prevent fires by keeping the stove and any kitchen necessities closely monitored while they work. In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 166,100 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an average of 480 civilian fire deaths, 5,540 civilian fire injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.

Another thing we can do is bring safety equipment and never play in fire especially in areas with wood and flammables. 2018 was full of disastrous fires, hopefully as 2019 starts it will be a new year with new beginnings. This year let’s create a goal to end wildfires. Just like Oprah Winfrey once said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”