While the States is grappling with the deadly pandemic, the California Wildfires pose another challenge. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has reported that over 1 million acres of forests are burnt. Over 7000 wildfires have claimed the life of 7, as per the recent reports. The fires have led to the destruction and/or complete damage of more than 1600 structures. Thus, it has resulted in heavy financial and property loss.
A rare lightning storm sparked the fires. The hot and windy weather provided an ideal condition for them to blaze up the cities, towns, and villages all across California. On August 22, 2020, one of the wildfires in Northern California set into motion a fire tornado. Following this, the National Weather Service issued a first-of-its-kind weather alert.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire and the LNU Lightning Complex Fire are the second and the third largest (respectively) wildfires recorded in the state’s history. Over 13,000 firefighters are working at full throttle to contain the fires. However, CAL officials have reported a shortage of resources owing to the coronavirus pandemic. “96% of CAL FIRE’s engines are engaged in fighting fires”, said Incident Commander Sean Kavanaugh. Additional help is coming from outside including the states of Washington and Oregon.
Are Humans Responsible?
“There’s no doubt that the risk of catastrophic wildfires is increasing dramatically because of climate change.”, said Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The human activities are a clear cause of the ever-increasing California Wildfires. The unbridled pursuit of development by humans has led us on the path of destruction. We have been meddling with nature at an irreparable rate. The seemingly constructive path to a better future is rather destructive. Humans have rung their own death knell and their intemperate ambitions will have an unbearable cost. It is a pellucid warning of climate emergency. Thus, the time has come to come out of our shells and join hands to protect our only planet.