California Drought and Wildfires

For the past couple of years California has been dealing with droughts and wildfires which have been torturing California citizens and firemen. “This area’s burned a lot more than we thought it would for this time of year,” said firefighter, Ryan Doyle, while hiking along a canyon of smoke and flame, trying to tame the beastly fires.

“For the last couple of years, they’ve been saying it’s really bad, but this is the year I think we might really see it.”

The drought has been turning the soil into pure dust and has destroyed so many forests and trees it’s unprecedented. The rate of wildfires is completely over average and it has not been a good year for California. They struggle through wildfires so much more aggressively than any other state in the U.S. Wherever you walk you breath in smoke and are stepping on dusty dirt through a ruined forest. New York Times describes it as “as dry as that of an Iraqi desert.”

The dead trees allow the fires to continue. As it is, California is covered with them. Not only is the land being destroyed, but they are running out of their water supply. The amount of water that the fire service have used is way too much and California officials are getting concerned that they will completely run out of water.

In addition, California is in the middle of a drought, so a low water supply is something to panic about. “Southern California has a 12-month fire season now,” said Scott L. Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley. “You can have a fire there at any time.”

The costs of these fires are ruining California. “Fire suppression costs are skyrocketing,” Mr. Stephens said. “You have all these people living around these fires; you have structural protection and it all makes suppression costs go up exponentially.” Fire warnings have been announced several times this year, and residents are trying to take action. Some people hose down their houses, or others are fleeing, positive there will be more warnings to come. “I’ve been running camps for 20 years and the fires used to come a lot later,” said John Fisher, the manager of a Y.M.C.A. summer camp. The camp was evacuated during the blazing fire of the Lake Fire. “This is the first time we’ve had to evacuate this camp in more than a decade,” he said. Firefighters are still fighting to take out the blazing fire of the longest California drought and wildfire season ever.