Series of wildfires erupt across California, leaving extreme damage

Photo Courtesy of Hanscom Air Base Force

Photo Courtesy of Hanscom Air Base Force

Priya Somanchi, Contributing Writer

Wildfires started ravaging through towns and cities in California. On Nov. 9, the fires began destroying homes and killing people. According to the New York Times, at least 70 people are dead and more than 1000 people are missing. Due to California’s winters being dry and warm, this problem has been at an all-time high for the past five years. While California is actively trying to prevent and diminish these outbreaks by sending additional forces and has successively contained the fires, there is still more to be done.

Wildfires are sometimes created due to the environment, specifically the aridity in the atmosphere. This is primarily due to climate change. With global warming, the atmosphere is actively changing and making the air dryer, stimulating an environment that is prone to fires. Other times, it is brought on by the people. Many of us unknowingly contribute to this natural disaster due to man-made fires, in order to clear areas for agricultural purposes specifically when there is dead vegetation in the area. To understand the aftermath, look at the 2017 wildfire in Santa Rosa, California. The damages cost billions of dollars, and the majority of the city was destroyed. Due to these unpredictable after effects, it is clear that more measures must be taken to prevent them.

California, as well as the federal government, are actively sending firefighters and helicopters to control these fires and prevent future ones. Furthermore, the federal government can put out protocols that will take preventive measures. For example, when power lines are built in areas where the heavy wind is present, they knock down the lines and create fires. The government can put regulations on companies that build power lines to ensure that they find alternate ways to build lines in areas. Another contributing factor to these fires getting out of control is the excessive number of homes that are built along the western border of California. This leads to increased humidity, as the border is close to the ocean. The lack of distance between homes increases the chance of fire, and destruction is imminent. The government needs to take precautions to prevent this by passing laws that inhibit prospective buyers from constructing homes near or on these borders.

The most important thing people can do is spread awareness. In addition, we can send donations to genuine ‘Go Fund Me’ pages to help people affected by the wildfires, even a couple of dollars will help the cause. Regulated wildfires are a needed component in maintaining a healthy Earth. But before it gets out of control, government regulations must be put in place along with collective action from the public. People all over should come together to find a way to prevent these frequent fires for a better future.