Sophie Echternach | News Editor
September 16, 2022
Every year from about June through October, millions of Californians brace for rampant wildfires with massive destruction. This year is unlike any other.
Currently, California firefighters are combating the Mosquito Fire, Fairview Fire, Mountain Fire, Forward Fire, and Dutch fire, together burning more than 106,000 acres of land. However, the 6,357 wildfire incidents in California this year alone, have burned upwards of 345,000 acres of land, killed 9 people, and destroyed 851 buildings.
As a result, many California residents have taken their own preventative measures to reduce the chance of accidental fires in their area. “My family always makes sure to turn off the gas and make sure we conserve our energy use,” San Clemente High School senior, Kayla Shanafelt said.
Due to a severe lack of rainfall in California in the last few years, the extreme amounts of dry brush have provided perfect fire-burning conditions. Therefore, people have made efforts to be conscious of reducing dry brush around them. “At my house, we keep dead plants trimmed back to prevent fires from starting [in our neighborhood] or spreading,” senior Emma Massamiri said.
However, with the rapid advancement of climate change across the world, scientists worry that Mother Nature will bring too much precipitation for the Golden State to handle.
Beginning all of the way back to the 1800s, human life has disturbed the natural course of weather patterns, eventually increasing temperatures and reducing rainfall over hundreds of years. Today, the world is in the worst state it has ever been, evident through the thousands of fires and months without rain documented on the news every day.
Due to warmer springs, and longer, dryer summers, scientists have predicted that unless humans alter their way of life in major ways, within the next 7 years the arctic will become the new Bahamas, and the deserts will be jungles.
In an effort to stop the devastating effects of climate change, many cars are now being made to be fuel efficient, solar panels are being installed in thousands of homes, and more people are taking an interest in gardening to try and repopulate the millions of trees taken during the process of deforestation.
While these efforts are helpful, not enough people are participating yet to make the massive difference scientists are hoping for. Therefore, unfortunately, it seems the most critical thing people can do now is become educated on ways to reduce wildfires, and volunteer time to help the fire departments who will have to spend the next few years continuing to combat these countless destructive fires.