By: Brady Daylor (Correspondent)
As of early November, there have been an estimated 6,402 fires that have swallowed up about 250,000 acres of California. Their long wildfire season is coming to a close soon but will ramp up again in the summer.
The 2018 California wildfire season was one of the deadliest in recent history. The 8,527 total fires killed over 100 people and ripped through 1,893,914 acres of land. The flames engulfed entire towns and destroyed celebrity mansions. In addition to taking down residential areas, the culmination of all the fires over the years have taken a toll on the environment as well.
“With all these fires, the trees, which take carbon dioxide out of the air, are being torn down by the thousands,” freshman Andrew Kates said.
The trees aren’t the only part of the forest being affected by these raging fires. Animals are being forced from their homes, places that they have been occupying before any humans.
Concerned sophomore Ben Levinson says that the animals who are dying in the wildfires deserve better. “I am a huge environmentalist and it pains me to see the devastation to the environment,” Levinson said.
Levinson also says that he has a vast amount of respect for the California firefighters who are risking their lives every day. “I think we all need to show more respect to the firefighters who are trying their hardest to stop the fires. They are incredibly brave and I have a humongous amount of respect for them,” Levinson added.
On November 10th, a fire broke out in Burbank, California. The fire which was named the Barham Fire and came close to the Warner Bros. Studio. The studio has hosted sets for shows and movies like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and The Dark Knight Rises.
Sophomore Daniel Okstein went to California during Veterans Day Weekend and says that he did not see any fires, but could see the effects from all of the fires in the area. “ I did not actually see any fires. However, I did notice that there were a lot of school closures and sports games at local high schools being canceled because of the fires nearby,” Okstein said.
Rohan Prakash says that it is the humans that have caused this recent wave of fires. “In the past five to ten years there have been more destructive fires than there were in the entirety of the 1900s. This is because humans are the main source of climate change and increasing global temperatures,” Prakash said.
“Although the climate of California is naturally dry, the increase in temperatures just makes more of California have that dry climate allowing the fires to spread,” Prakash added.
A huge fire like the Camp Fire of 2018 or the Cedar Fire in San Diego could have been started by a human. In the case of the Cedar Fire, a hunter who was lost started a fire to signal rescuers which later engulfed over 200,000 acres of land.
The high winds in California are the culprit. In Southern California, Santa Ana winds usually exceed speeds of 40 miles per hour and rip apart forests and towns.
But the wildfire season is coming to a close and will restart when the hot weather and Santa Ana winds rise again in the summer.