California Wildfires

Smokey+the+Bear.+He+was+created+in+1944+by+Albert+Staehle
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California Wildfires

Smokey the Bear. He was created in 1944 by Albert Staehle

Smokey the Bear. He was created in 1944 by Albert Staehle

Lantern Press

Smokey the Bear. He was created in 1944 by Albert Staehle

Lantern Press

Lantern Press

Smokey the Bear. He was created in 1944 by Albert Staehle

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California Wildfires

by Nick Boniface
a reporter for the Patriot Power

        Extreme wildfires have ravaged California each year every since 2002. After each wildfire, people end up on the streets with no home or possessions. And everytime a fire hits, everyone in California is affected. The air quality gets worse and worse the more the fires California experience. PG&E is now cutting the power to some homes to try to help contain wildfires, but this means people don’t have power. There are people that don’t understand how to stay safe during a fire or how to prevent fires so they do things that make situations worse. People think, “Oh, it’s just another fire,” but they don’t have to face being evacuated or the damage firefighters endure.

        The fires are started mostly by humans. Because of the dry weather, it makes it a lot easier for a fire to start. All you need is one spark and ‘boom’ another wildfire ignites. Alejandra Borunda states, “The hot air comes from climate change. The hot air takes the water out of plants.” This means that there is no more moisture in the plants, so they make perfect fuel for the fires. 

Jamison Kenyon, a Calfire Paramedic who is an uncle of a student at AdVENTURE STEM, and has fought fires such as the Thomas Fire for years. He says, “Don’t do anything risky in High Fire Danger. No matter what, people are going to start fires.” Because people don’t listen to the High Fire Danger sign the fires just keep coming. 

Firefighters have the most dangerous job and unless you are a firefighter, you don’t get to see that point of view. “As they are getting to the fire they are trying to prepare as much as possible. They think about how the fire is moving and what materials they have to work with. As they arrive at the fire they are changing their plans according to how the fire is acting.” says Jamison Keyon. 

Some wildfires have started because PG&E power transformers need replacing. PG&E is trying their best to limit power so transformers don’t dangerously surge and to try to cause fewer wildfires. Since the fires in 2018, Calfire and the police have improved their evacuation plans, so they can evacuate thousands of people a day to safety.  

Another side that most people don’t think about are the evacuees. “Okay here we go” is Debbie Waren first thought as they are evacuating. “You are really thinking clearly” she states. In 2018, she could see the fire from the road. They thought that their house was going to be gone when they were able to go back. But this time they couldn’t see the flames which made them feel better about everything.

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”

— Smokey the Bear

        Safety is really important, especially in a time of emergency. When you are in the area that is possible to be evacuated, you need to always be prepared. You should pack clothes, money, and any pet things. You want to keep any plants or shrubs low, cut down any dead limbs, and clean your gutters. You want to make sure you have as little fuel as possible. You want to leave your doors and gates unlocked so the firefighters can get into your house to help protect it. The most important thing is to listen to the firefighters and police. Even if it’s to evacuate or to take a different route. They are just trying to keep everyone safe. 

        Many people don’t or never understand what the firefighters go through. People who evacuate, or leave their homes go through things just as traumatic. Each year, fires keep burning because people ignore the high fire danger. They are doing the best we can to prevent wildfires, but it is not enough. In order to prevent wildfires, you are the only one that can help prevent fires. Each year in Australia there is an average 54,000 bush fires. In 2019 alone the fires have killed over 500,000,000 wild animals. And in 2019 around 30,000,000 acres have been annihilated.