California Wildfires and Climate Change: What’s going on?

There have been wildfires raging throughout California for almost a year now. People have been forced to evacuate their homes, leave everything behind, and watch as their homes, schools, and places of business are burned away. What is going on and can it be stopped?

Usually, wildfires are to be expected in an area as hot an arid as California. They are a natural part of the ecosystem that occur in forests or wooded areas. However, in 2018, several wildfires started to rage across the state to this very day. While the destruction of these fires does fluctuate, it is still ongoing. There are many suspected causes of these fires and practically all of them are linked to human activity; Poor atmospheric conditions, construction in the Wild-Urban Interference, the empty zone between unoccupied estate and human residential areas, even something as minuscule as someone family to properly dispose of a cigarette. The one major cause that can be linked to the fires is climate change. With the globe gradually getting warmer and the yearly climate becoming more and more unpredictable, the usual fire season for California is thrown completely off kilter. Usually, fire season lasts around five or six months and the fires, while deadly, are at the very least manageable. However, 2018 and 2019 have proven to be the deadliest years for wildfires, and the most destructive. In 2018, there were 8,527 fires which resulted in the destruction of 1,893,913 acres of land. In 2019, there were 6,190 fires which resulted in the destruction of 198,392 acres. People have been forced to pack up and leave their homes behind due to the rapid spread of the fires. Not everyone survived. In 2019 there were three fatalities, and in 2018, 103 people were killed, six of whom were firefighters. And all the damage has cost the state of California billions of dollars. According to, more than $4.7 billion of the state’s emergency fund has been used to combat the fires and give relief to the people who are in a state of evacuation. While the number of fires has gone down significantly since the end of 2018, the fires are still going. Which begs the question: Why are people still denying climate change? The evidence is right in front of us. California has been burning to ashes for a year and a half straight due to human negligence and ignorance of the state of disaster that our planet is facing, which is causing the global climate to shift and be thrown off balance. Yet politicians and people who work in the government still insist that climate change is a hoax. The people with the power to do something are doing nothing and are so convinced that there is nothing wrong. Why? Because there is not enough evidence? Well one would have to be blind to not see what’s happening in California and all over the globe. Is it because it would mean we would have to look at our own flaws as humanity and it would be too difficult to admit that we’ve done wrong? Perhaps, but the real cause may be financial. The people with the power to fix it do nothing because it would be too expensive to deal with. Perhaps one day they may come to their senses and realize that something has to be done, but by then it may be too late. So much of California has been incinerated and at the rate it is going, it may even spread to other places in the country. Yet the people in DC still choose to do nothing.

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