California has endured numerous fires due to its droughts and altogether dry environment. No one could have predicted that this year California would experience some of the worst fires in its history.
What’s different about this year is that there’s been sustained heat, which pulls water out of vegetation and creates ideal conditions for large fires.
At one point, there were 21 active fires that were being responded to. One of these infernos, as of September 5th, has burned over 400,000 acres. It was called the Ranch Fire. Unfortunately, it claimed the lives of one firefighter and one civilian.
One area that was hit extremely hard by a wildfire was near Redding in Northern California. Even after the flames were extinguished, the smoke from the fire left the air quality in that area at very dangerous levels.
A safe air quality is around 30, but after the fire the air quality level was in the high 300’s. Any number between and including 301-500 is considered hazardous by the government.
Another fire that is still burning out in northern California is the Lions Fire and is 7 miles southwest of Mammoth Lakes. The smoke from the fire is leaving the air quality at hazardous levels. According to InciWeb, it’s only 85% contained. Fortunately, the estimated containment date is October 7th.
Altogether, the fires in California have caused at least $252.1 million in damages and have destroyed around 280 buildings. However, there is good news. The Ranch fire, as of September 12th, has been reported to be almost completely contained.
Hopefully, the firefighters and citizens avoid any more casualties and continue to extinguish all of the wildfires in California.