California’s Unstoppable Fires



Fires in California

Camilo Zeballos, Reporter

The devastation caused by the California fires has been extensive. The fires are still burning wild, The Pacific Gas & Electric Company has cut power to many of the houses around the area, and the situation does not appear to be getting any better for the citizens of California.

While some of the fires appear to be getting contained, there are still fires igniting in different areas around California way past the normal fire season. According to CBS News, the Kincade fire that started around October 19th, has burned an area close to twice the size of San Francisco in Northern California Wine Country and is still burning with passion and pushing south. The Getty fire, that started around October 29th in western California is also pushing citizens out of their living spaces and to make matters worse, PG&E cut off power to more than 432,000 homes in Northern California in hopes to reduce fire risk. This has left many citizens around the area to suffer without air conditioning and electricity with a fire in their backyard.

According to California State University, the fire season, which once lasted from June to October, has basically extended to a year-long worry for the citizens of California. Craig Clements, Ph.D., director of the San José State University’s Fire Weather Research Laboratory says that a possible reason for this is because of, “poor Forest Service policy where we didn’t allow prescribed fire or wildfires to burn.” Because of these policies, prescribed fires that would normally help control dead and dry foliage on the forest floors haven’t been allowed. A healthy forest ecosystem needs fires in its everyday life. Fires add fertilization to the ground and clear dry and hazardous materials from the forest floor. Because California prevented even naturally caused fires from occurring they are now faced with this the near-impossible task of stopping these huge fires. It’s like blocking a water hose; eventually, it’ll burst, and when it does good luck trying to stop it.