More than 100,000 people have had to evacuate following California wildfires spreading while the state is experiencing an already scorching heatwave. The wildfire blazes stand as a threat to homes around and are continually polluting the skies. Firefighters are trying to contain the fires relentlessly, and are asking for more help. They are trying to control the situation since Friday, August 21, with no considerable improvement. Moreover, the California wildfires have already killed at least six people. According to Governor Gavin Newsom, there are about 24 massive complex fires. It means that the total number of raging wildfires in the state is now approximately 560.
The latest update states that the situation is slightly under control in Southern California. So, the government is now trying to shift the majority of the resources to the Northern part. Here, the wildfires are already running through rural areas, brushlands, dense forests, and the Canyon country surrounding San Francisco. Amongst the six reported deaths is that of a Pacific Electric & Gas worker whose corpse was found in a vehicle; parked in the Vacaville area of the town. The California Fire Department reports that the fires have already burnt down 1,200 square miles across the state. The area is so big that they can compare with the entire Rhode Island.
Governor seeking help to control the California wildfires
Newsom says that the government is trying to put in every possible resource to control the raging California wildfires. They are seeking help from everywhere possible, including the federal government. The California state government is expecting support from faraway places such as Australia and Canada as well. He says that the disaster is becoming too overwhelming for the local firefighters, and they desperately need help. On Friday, August 21, Governor Newsom reported that two wildfires are creating records as the 7th and 10th largest in the history of California. Each of these has damaged at least 300 square miles already. Gavin Newsom says that people who are living in denial about climatic changes must-visit California. The statement was a part of his speech for the Democratic National Convention held on Thursday, August 19.
Presently, over 12,000 firefighters are working on the frontline. However, the officers-in-charge of every significant fire complexes is now complaining about the limitation of resources. Some frontline workers are working continuously for the past 72-hours. Reports state that apart from the six deaths, approximately 33 people, including firefighters, are facing injuries. On Friday, August 21, the government revealed the end of three civilians in Napa County and one in Solano County. Besides, another tragedy took place in central California, claiming the life of a pilot. He was on a western Fresno County water-dropping mission when his helicopter crashed. Authorities state that the figures can be more than this as well.
Mandatory evacuation process for safety
Amidst the terrible California wildfires, Newsom requested the residents of the state to understand that evacuation was compulsory. He said that 119,000 people had already evacuated, and over 14,000 people were under the process at present. As some of the fires are doubling in size within hours, several homes are suffering damages as per fire officers. In Solano County, the authorities issued evacuation to over a thousand residents. Out of them, a lot of them were experiencing such an incident for the first time. For example, a Solano resident Tim Lukehart says that he has never had to evacuate before. While there have been several fires in the past, but nothing was as massive as this one.
On the other hand, a few of the evacuations were lifted in the Vacaville town between Sacramento and San Francisco. While on the other hand, there are areas where the evacuation process has become wider now. The Santa Cruz branch of the California University has already been evacuated, and increasing fire in Yosemite forced residents to flee immediately. Out of the approximate 560 wildfires burning across California, a couple of dozens have now turned into massive complex fires. A sudden lightening siege of around 12,000 strikes over a couple of days has also led to several fires. On the other hand, the high-pressure area in Western California is responsible for bringing a risky blend of monsoonal moisture and triple-digit heat to the South.
California wildfires are creating new records
The most massive California wildfires listed on the state’s official website is a result of an enormous blaze. It is a blend of 20 different fires raging near San Hose that has now got the name of the SCU Lightning Complex Fire. According to the California Fire Department, firefighters have only been able to control about 10% of the fire that has already spread over 359 square miles. There is another massive fire that is presently burning over 342 square miles and is only 7% under control.
The smoke from the California wildfires is continually polluting the air, making it rank over several other states in the Global list of polluted cities. However, people will still be unable to smell the harmful pollutants floating in the air. According to environmentalists and experts, there are particles present in the air right now that are not just from fire, but also other sources. In this case, a simple coronavirus mask is not enough to control such particles from entering your mouth or nose.
What you require right now is a unique mask that can adequately filter PM 2.5 (the level of air pollution). Therefore, the best variety to use is the N-95 mask that is also good in case of the virus. According to experts, if a person is living in an area that comes nearby to the fire, it is best to stay indoors. Besides, it would be best if you also closed all windows and doors. To reduce the risk, even more, you can turn on your air conditioner with a recirculation setting.