Wildfires decimate California as dry winds make firefighting difficult


Garrett V. -Photojournalist

Fires are nothing new to California. Officials say how it is a natural part of the environment, and they make efforts to combat the fires. 

But according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the last two years have been especially cruel, being the deadliest and most destructive in California’s history. This fact is due to the strong winds, low humidity, and high temperatures combining at the same time over plenty of dead, dry foliage.

The damages caused by the fires have been severe, with tens of thousands of people displaced, several homes destroyed, and thousands of acres burned. Blackouts have also occurred for roughly 587,000 homes due to Pacific Gas and Electric shutting off power to avoid accidentally starting fires. However, they state that they had restored service to 375,000-400,000 affected customers out of the 975,000 total. Despite this, PG&E has been scrutinized for their actions due to technical and communication errors. These blackouts don’t just cause issues for keeping the lights on and operating fridges. They have led to an estimated quarter of the 436 cell towers in Sonoma county. Due to its timing, it no longer plays as a minor convenience, but it makes vital communication with those who might need help difficult.

 There have also been “red flag” warnings posted to most of northern California, along with parts of southern California, of which are taking effect at different times.

Winds of 60 mph have stretched over a wide area, from the sierras to the pacific, along with the southern fringes of the bay area north nearly to the Oregon border, except for coastal areas north of Sonoma County, and from the southern fringes of the Bay Area north nearly to the Oregon border, except for coastal areas north of Sonoma County.

Residents of Coffey Park, a neighbourhood that was almost entirely destroyed by the wine fires two years ago, was rebuilt from rubble back to its former self. However, the Kincade fire is only a few miles away and threatens the neighbourhood with fire once again. Several residents have suitcases of their most valuable things, while others sleep in cars. One resident even put a lawn sprinkler on his roof and has it shooting water non-stop.