Southern California Wildfires Recede

Abby Paterniti, Reporter

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In mid July of 2018, Southern California experienced a heat wave which hit record triple digit temperatures, increasing the risks of wildfires throughout the entire southern region.

Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Ron Roberts, knows all too well how Southern CA is the perfect atmosphere for fire.

 We have a very dangerous, unpredictable situation. We have some of the highest temperatures, some of the driest landscape conditions, and some of the most powerful winds – all ingredients for a perfect firestorm,” said Roberts.

By July 31, 2018, there were 17 wildfires spreading across the state of California.

Those wildfires had destroyed more than 200,000 acres of land and about 15,000 civilians were put under a mandatory evacuation.

During that time at least 12,000 firefighters had been deployed across the state.

The largest fire was the Carr fire which burned in Shasta and Trinity, two counties in California during late July and early August.

Carr had lasted until Aug. 30 and burned 229,651 acres of land; it resulted in the death of eight civilians, including three firefighters.

Read below for few of the most detrimental California fires:

July 16, 2017: The Detwiler Fire

The Detwiler fire took place in Mariposa County and is said to have started on July 16 at 3:56 p.m. lasting until Aug. 24.

The fire had started burning on Detwiler Road and Hunters Valley Road; within three hours of burning, it had grown over 1,000 acres which caused the residency of both Detwiler Road and Hunters Valley Road to go under an emergency evacuation.

Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies saw fire in a new, shocking light.  “I don’t think we can emphasize enough how erratic and active this fire activity is – especially with this fire. It’s done stuff that we’ve never seen before,” said Binnewies.

By July 26 the fire had destroyed 80,250 acres of land including over 100 structures.

June 30, 2018: The County Fire in Napa and Yolo

The fire started in Guinda, a small town in Yolo County, due to an electric fence being improperly installed on June 30

The fired burned 90,288 acres of land and destroyed 20 structures in both Napa and Yolo county.

The person who caused the fire was prosecuted for burning the lands of another under Public Resource code 4421.

July 13, 2018: The Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County

The Ferguson fire began on July 13 in the Sierra National Forest; it was caused by overheated fragments of a faulty vehicle catalytic converter, igniting forestry.

The fire was fully contaminated with a total of 96,901 acres of land burned and $116.9 million worth of damage done to the National Forest in Yosemite on Aug. 18.

July 23, 2018: The Carr Fire in Shasta County

The Carr fire had started from a minor car accident on July 23, 2018 ; a trailer’s tire failure led its rim to scrape the asphalt and ignite sparks.

By July 27, a series of “fire vortexes” was produced from the hot air of the fire rising and swirling into a plume, spewing carbon monoxide and creating its own weather system of fire tornadoes.

The Carr fire has been the largest fire in 2018 with 229,651 acres of land burned. In total 1,079 residences, 22 commercial structures and 503 buildings were destroyed while 190 residences, 26 commercial structures and 61 outbuildings were only damaged.

The fire had created so much damage that the White House had to get involved with providing assistance to those in need.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House said.

The fire was contained on Aug. 30, and after further examination, the death toll had reached six and eleven non-fatal injuries.

All of the fires which have occured during this year’s fire season in California have started due to human mistakes which goes to say how important it is for people to be careful with campfires, machinery and electricity.

Northern California is finally experiencing rain which, although it is helping maintain wildfires, it is risking landslides and flash flooding which could hinder the search for human remains.

So far the fires have killed at least eighty-three people, and five-hundred and sixty-three people are unaccounted for.

Investigators are still doing what they can to find the reasons for wildfires starting and where the missing bodies may be.

Fortunately for California, most of the fires have been contained, and some of the Northern Californian residences can return to their homes.

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