Wildfires Continue to Destroy California


California is famous for its wildfires. However, 2017 has been a particularly bad year for wildfires in the state. There have been numerous massive wildfires in many different parts of the state that have causes millions of dollars in damage. The most recent wildfire is located in the city of Mariposa. It is very close to Yosemite National Park. Eight buildings have already been destroyed. However, there are 1,500 more that are in jeopardy of being leveled by the blaze if the fire is not contained before it reaches them. A complete evacuation of the town of 2,000 people has been ordered by local law enforcement. California Governor Jerry Brown has officially issued a state of emergency for the entire area.

The flames of this fire are behaving in a much more aggressive manner than is usually seen in wildfires. Planes and helicopters have been called in to dump water on the fire in certain areas in order to drive it back from buildings in its path. At this point, the fire has consumed over 45,000 acres. However, only a paltry seven percent of the fire has been contained. The fire has spread more quickly than it otherwise would have because of strong winds in the area. The fire has forced roughly 4,000 people to evacuate their houses. The reason the fire started in the first place has not been determined. The focus right now is on containing the fire and then stopping it completely. Then an investigation will begin into how it started.

The wind is not the only factor that has allowed the fire to spread at a very rapid rate. The region has been impacted by a serious drought. The dry conditions make small wildfires become large in a very short period of time. Almost 4.5 million acres of California have been destroyed by wildfires this year. This is 1.8 million more acres than were burned by the same date in 2016. The state has many reserve firefighters that can be called in to fight large fires like the one currently burning in Mariposa. However, the extremely dry conditions caused by the drought make fighting the fire difficult. Firefighters make progress in one area and then the fire just changes directions. The wind and dead trees have propelled the fire to the point where it has become a huge disaster. People on Twitter have said it looks like a movie.