This year has been exhausting for people all over the country. A controversial and contentious election is on the horizon. Widespread civil unrest has remained a top story. Of course, all of this has been against the backdrop of a pandemic and unprecedented weather and natural disasters. Hurricanes have been more frequent this season than ever before.
Meanwhile, for the third straight year in a row, the West Coast faces late Summer/early Autumn wildfires. The blazes began due to a gender reveal party gone wrong, and now, they’ve consumed millions of acres of land, killed dozens of people, and displaced countless people and animals alike. Several weeks in, the blazes continue to threaten regions from LA all the way up to Oregon.
Some 4,500 residents of a senior living facility evacuated Monday as flames burned through Northern Californian Wine Country. Many of the seniors were in pajamas while city busses carted them through a hellscape of red skies and falling ash. The intense weather conditions caused by the flames have been described by many as “apocalyptic,” choking the air with soot and clouding the sun with ash.
This has resulted in red skies watching over the fires as they burn through dry underbrush. Sonoma County has been battling multiple fires, like the Shady Fire and the Boysen Fire. Both merged with the Glass Fire and forced thousands to evacuate in Napa County. One resident told reporters he felt as though “God has no sympathy for Sonoma County”.
As countless fires blaze up and down the West coast, the region is exhausted. This is the third year in a row that wildfires have gripped the region. Many citizens are frustrated at this and ask how it can keep happening despite the knowledge gleaned from prior years. However, the conditions that make the region prone to fires aren’t exactly easy to address.
One of the issues is federal forest areas that make up much of California’s wilderness. These regions are federally managed and sport tons of dry vegetation at the ground level, and make for excellent tinder for wildfires. This, coupled with drought and extremely hot weather, have made the region see significantly more wildfires in recent years.
The role climate change is playing is somewhat debatable, but many meteorologists point to the unreasonably high temperature and lack of rain as one reason that the fires have been so bad recently.