In recent months, natural disasters have tore through the world leaving destruction in their wake. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria created massive damage in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Also, unequivocally detrimental are the wildfires that have engulfed California in the past few weeks.
According to the Los Angeles Times, as of this Monday, 8,400 buildings were destroyed in the deadliest series of wildfires in California’s history. Whole communities have disappeared into the flames, leaving families with very little other than the clothes on their backs. 100,000 people have been relocated and 42 people have died in the unrelenting fires.
As reported by CNN, Governor Jerry Brown described the recent wildfires as “one of the greatest, if not the greatest tragedy that California has ever faced.” He continues by saying that “the devastation is just unbelievable, is a horror that no one could have imagined.”
The fires consumed an extraordinary 217,000 acres, unimaginable to most, but unfortunately for the Californians, these fires are far from uncommon. As stated by NBC News, this year alone brought California 5,600 fires, while last year was an outstanding 4,200. That may be less than this year, but it is still very high and damaging. It has been recorded that the average number of California wildfires annually is about 4,200 fires, with an average of more than 200,200 acres of destroyed land. Over 11,000 firefighters are currently defending their state from an enemy with little weakness and no mercy.
Many lives were ruined in a split second as the fiery horizon quickly descended upon the California communities. Allison de Toffoli, for one, returns to her parents house and finds it as a mere pile of ash and debris. With one look Toffoli bursts into tears, telling CNN reporters “So many family heirlooms — I thought my whole life, ‘I’m going to inherit these someday. This is what I’m going to pass down to my kids.’ ”
The wildfires that ravaged California this October left the state with three billion dollars in damages, along with thousands of families with no homes. IHA freshman, Kathleen Quinn believes that, “[The fires] are out of control, though California is handling the situation quite well.”
In an effort to stop the death and destruction that is tormenting the state, California is valiantly fighting the fires that seem to be fighting back. Though brutally hard, their task is not impossible, especially with the growing possibility of rain in the next week.
By: Katherine Conway’21, Staff Writer