Fires in California and Their Causes

Fires in California and Their Causes

Aya Schlueter, Journalist

Many innocent people were affected by the recent fires. Are wildfires going to keep destroying people’s homes? It seems like they are getting more and more common in California. There were many fires last year as well. This article will provide some explanation of why this is happening.

In August, it reached record high temperatures in California and in other states as well. The August Complex fire is the largest recorded fire in California. 471,185 acres of land were burned. The fires in California have destroyed more than five times more since 1972. The destruction has gone from 236 square miles every year to 1,394 square miles a year, according to a 2019 study conducted by William Balch, and others. The fire has also released smoke into the air, making it so many people have to stay inside to avoid inhaling the smoke. People couldn’t go on runs or walk their dogs, without their noses running and their eyes tearing up whe

n the air was at its worst.

One thing contributing to these fires is climate change. Naturally, more heat means more fire. California has always had fires. It is a natural part of its ecosystem. The reason it’s different now is because the fires are getting larger and larger.”California has a really flammable ecosystem,” said University of Colorado fire scientist Jennifer Balch. “People are living in flammable places, providing ignition, starting the wildfires against a backdrop of a warming climate that is making wildfires worse.” California is very vulnerable to wildfires. It’s getting warmer, and fires are just a part of California’s ecosystem. “Trying to manage California’s wildfires is like trying to hold back a tidal wave,” said Columbia University fire scientist A. Park Williams: “Big fires are kind of inevitable in California.”

All this sounds pretty scary, so what can we all do to help prevent these fires? One simple thing everyone can do to reduce the risk of a fire, is removing flammable objects from their yard. Things such as firewood, fuel cans, and barbecue grills are flammable. Also, make sure to shut off propane, natural gas, and oil supplies. Here are some good things to do in order to lower the likelihood of fires starting.  If you see an unattended fire, report it. Extinguish campfires after you’re done with them.

This was just a simple explanation of why these fires are happening, some examples of fires in California, and ways you can help.