California Wildfires on the Rise


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Firefighters perform structure protection against the Glass Fire in Napa County

Liz Spiering, Social Media Editor

California wildfires are hitting stronger and spreading faster than ever. On Sunday, Sept. 27, the wildfire that has been named as Glass Fire, sparked east of Napa Valley. Two additional fires merged causing the unwelcoming and overwhelming Glass Fire to hit Napa and Sonoma Valley.

The Glass Fire has burned over 65,500 acres as of Monday, Oct. 5 with only 30% containment according to Cal Fire. This  fire was actively spreading at a rapid pace for seven days, destroying over 1,230 structures in its wake. Sonoma and Napa Valley families were required to evacuate, though they are now allowed to return home as Napa opened a local assistance center on Oct. 5 to support the people affected. 

Back on Aug. 16, the California wildfire, called the August Complex, which is the combination of multiple fires, hit the following counties: Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, & Colusa. As of Oct. 5, the August Complex has burned through over 1 million acres with only 54% containment. The cause of this extreme, fast-spreading fire was lightning. According to Cal Fire, “The public’s safety is top priority and we see our California firefighters do everything they can to ensure it.” The fire is now being wind- driven, causing immediate evacuations for its residents.

To recap, the El Dorado fire that ignited back in early September in Yucaipa, California is now 93% contained. Evacuation warnings are still in place due to the fire burning over 22,000 acres. Unfortunately, San Bernardino lost a 14-year former firefighter in this tragic wildfire, and in hopes to keep from further tragedies there are over 1,300 personnel working to contain this fire and protect the community. 

According to Cal Fire, California firefighters are fighting to contain a total of 23 wildfires spread out across the state. There have been over 8,300 wildfires since the start of 2020 in California, bringing the total acres burned to well over 4 million. Unfortunately, due to these wildfires, there are a total of 31 fatalities, including civilians and firefighters, with over 8,500 structures burned or damaged. 

California is experiencing unusual weather patterns such as smoky air and orange skies.  San Diego, along with multiple other counties and states, is fighting to get through this smoky weather caused from the fires. According to Sheena Parveen at NBC San Diego, “the temperature will increase by 15 degrees above normal this year.” And the heat waves aren’t helping the situation. We have now reached fall and due to the Santa Ana winds and  wildfires, we’re experiencing some heat hotter than before. However, Monica Garske in a recent NBC San Diego interview said “The National Weather Service also said the gradual cool-down was coming” and San Diego couldn’t be more ready.  

In light of recent wildfires, it is important to know prevention tactics as well as preparation for evacuations. To find out how to best prepare yourself for a potential evacuation, check out our story here. Also, learn more about ways to help or donate to the families affected by wildfires through Cal Fire here.