The California Wildfires

Written By: Clare Kelly

CALISTOGA, CA – OCTOBER 01: Firefighters perform structure protection against the Glass Fire in Napa County along CA-29 just past Old Lawley Toll Rd on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Calistoga, CA.

On Sept. 26, as reported by Reuters, a Zogg Fire broke out in Shasta County, north of San Francisco, by about 200 miles, taking three lives of civilians, bringing the count to 30 deaths since January, of which 29 of these fatalities perished in the last six weeks. As reported by ABC News, this fire “has grown to about 52,000 acres with 7% containment and killed four people,” according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire 

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, according to a Reuters article, firefighters attempted to control two wildfires rapidly moving in Northern California, one burning towns and wineries in the Napa Valley and the other burning through the Cascade foothills near the Oregon border. 

On Sept. 30, a California Daily Wildfire Update, provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection website, reported the “final containment to the Fox Fire in Siskiyou County;” while over 17,000 firefighters fought to gain control of the enduring 26 major wildfires threatening lands and civilians across the state. The only fire that has reached beyond the control of firefighters is the Candy Fire in Riverside County. 

Meanwhile the Glass Fires in the south, continue to trailblaze through Napa and Sonoma counties, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. On Sunday, Sept. 25, this fire ignited and has since then threatened many homes, wine yards and people. While ABC News reports, this Glass Fire “has nearly quadrupled in size in the last 24 hours, burning more than 48,000 acres,” as many as 68,000 people have been forced to evacuate for safety. As reported by ABC News, Cal Fire detailed that this fire “has burned 42,360 acres in the North Bay and is 2% contained. At least 113 structures have been destroyed.” As the firefighters continue to battle the wildfire, they are preparing for the uptake in wind Thursday, Oct.1 into Friday, Oct. 2. According to SFGATE, firefighters planned to concentrate on “building containment lines and protecting structures on Wednesday” in preparation for the incoming dangers. Billy See, the Cal Fire incident commander, said on Sept. 30, “We’re looking at a similar wind event to when this fire ignited three days…We’re preparing for the worst-case scenario and hoping for the best. Our firefighters will be working to maintain lines.” As of Sept. 30, many wineries experienced copious amounts of property damage as the Glass Fire continued on its third day of rampaging through the Napa Valley, according to another article by SFGATE. One such winery, the Castello di Amorosa, a 41 year-old company located in St. Helena was reduced to ruins as the “estate and it’s castle-inspired structure were torched.” 

In the west, the recent heatwave exacerbated the flames, as 42 fires continue to burn across the span of eight states reports ABC News. Environmental challenges, such as the wind, heat and the current extreme drought of Northern California create arid conditions that are fueling these raging wildfires.  
As of Oct. 1, Cal Fire reported on their twitter account that “over 17,000 firefighters continue to battle 23 major wildfires in California. The latest number on all active wildland fires at: nearly 1,750 Fire engines, 382 Water tenders, 342 Fire Crews, 293 Bulldozers, [and] 118 assigned aircraft.”

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