California Wildfires – Catastrophe Upon Catastrophe


Multiple areas of the United States have been hit with devastating wildfires. This is a dire result of climate change – a problem that has been coming up in conversation for years now, yet nobody has made any tremendous progress on fixing it. As if all the catastrophes of 2020, such as deadly explosion in Lebanon, harmful BLM protests, locust swarms in East Africa, and the pandemic of COVID-19 was not enough, people now have to deal with rapid spreading, and uncontrolled wildfires. This has affected many people along the West Coast of the U.S., but largely California. 

California wildfire firefighter gazes at flames

As California faces this problem everyday, many people are wondering how and when did the wildfires start? According to Cal Fire, there have been 7,718 incidents this year alone. Burning 3,154,107 acres.  There are 28 active fires in the state as of September 16th. Numbers are changing each day for the worse.  5,792 structures have been damaged or destroyed.

The fires have now burned an area almost the size of Connecticut”







The fires move wherever they please. If this means burning down a person’s home or workplace, the fire will. This has caused 20 reported fatalities. These issues  have been intensified by gusty winds and low humidity – a deadly combination which can often turn a simple fire into a destructive natural force that is difficult to stop.

Due to the fires, the air quality in California in some areas are so bad people are advised to stay inside. The air quality index (AQI) reports that in main parts of California, the air quality is 169. When AQI values are from 0-50 air quality is satisfactory and possesses no health risks. If the AQI values are between 101-150 members of sensitive groups may experience health risks. With the AQI value at 169, health risks have become a major concern. 

The largest fire in California is the August Complex Fire. It has burned more than 796,650 acres. The fire started August 16th. It was caused by lighting, and has caused the fire to burn for 31 days. The blaze is driven by extreme winds; firefighters were able to contain 30% of the burning as of September 16th.  

The red area is how much the August Complex fire has burned as of September 11

Nearly 16,500 firefighters have been working to resolve this problem. For more daily updates and info go to Cal Fire, the official website for California Wildfires.

Denial doesn’t work when it comes to climate, and the cost of denial is that people lose their lives and their livelihoods.”

— Anderson Cooper