California Wildfires Ravage the West Coast

Firefighters work night and day to contain the Camp fire.

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Firefighters work night and day to contain the Camp fire.

Caroline Austin, Staff 2018-2019

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Currently, the state of California is thrown into panic as three separate wildfires blaze across the state, destroying hundreds of thousand of acres.

Tens of thousands of firefighters are working tirelessly to contain the infernos and residents are dropping everything to flee the flames. The largest of the three fires, known as the “Camp Fire”, has burned through 130,000 acres with no end in sight, as it is only thirty-five percent contained. The Camp Fire alone has claimed 48 lives with hundreds of other people still unaccounted for.

The Woolsey Fire follows closely behind, having burned almost 100,000 acres. It has taken 2 lives and, in combination with the Camp Fire, makes this the most deadly wildfire in California history.

The Hill Fire has not claimed any lives thus far. Both the Hill and Woolsey fires are burning in Ventura County outside of Los Angeles. City officials warn of poor air quality and encourage those under evacuation to do so. Once the fire reaches an area, the smoke and flames can make it nearly impossible to drive safely, so it is of the utmost importance for these people to leave before it’s too late.

The fires have been driven by extremely dry conditions and high winds across the state, making it even more difficult for firefighters to contain them. Meteorologists expect conditions to ease up and become more favorable as the week progresses. Even as the winds die down and the fires are put out, residents of these counties aren’t in the clear just yet. City officials warn of unstable structures, dangerous power lines, the release of harmful chemicals into the air, and exposed gas and water lines that can sometimes be even more dangerous than the fires themselves. Residents are encouraged to listen to posted warnings and exercise extreme caution as they begin to return to their homes.