California is ablaze with over 16 wildfires consuming the northern part of the state. On July 23rd, a mechanical failure sparked the fire that has now spread to cover an area larger than Los Angeles. The Carr fire that covers 163,207 acres of land has killed eight people in the process and has been named the sixth most destructive fire in California history. Even with the fire 45 percent contained, more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and more are being destroyed everyday as the fire continues to blaze. According to the Los Angeles Times, “more than 4,500 firefighters have been battling these deadly fires, facing triple digit temperatures and winds up to 30 mph”.
Another fire 300 miles away from the Carr fire, near Yosemite National Park, has killed two firefighters and was 39 percent contained as of Thursday. The governor of California, Jerry Brown, stated that the state was, “not designed for 40 million people”; construction and exhaust from 40 million cars has taken a toll on the climate in California and hundred degree heat, wind, and dry vegetation are making the fire harder to put out.
Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her great-grandchildren, James and Emily Roberts, four and five, lost their lives in the Carr fire on July 26th. They were three of the eight whose lives were cut short by the California wildfires. Also among the dead was Brian Hughes, a National Forest Service Captain, who was struck by a falling tree on July 29th at the Yosemite National Park while fighting the deadly fire.
On Saturday August 4th, Governor Jerry Brown called on the President to help California with the lethal fires spreading across the land and leveling whole neighborhoods. Brown said that he was sure President Trump would send aid despite their differences on the immigration and pollution policies. On Sunday August 5th, President Donald Trump declared the California Wildfires a “major disaster”. According to the White House, Trump “ordered Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires and high winds beginning on July 23, 2018, and continuing.”
Even with help coming from the White House, Cal Fire chief Ken Pimlott warned that the “fire season is really just beginning”.