California Wild Fires are the result of 4 factors

The 2020 California wild fires are cause of a mixture of environmental factors.

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The 2020 California wild fires are cause of a mixture of environmental factors.

Heather Suraci, editor in chief

Once Again, California is aflame and it does not show signs of stopping. So far in 2020, about two million acres have burned across the state making this year a record year as it surpassed the damage done in 2018. Much of the chaos of the fires has led to the declaration of a state emergency in many counties. Perhaps one of the most fearful events was this past Labor Day. Visitors to the Sierra National Forest had to be evacuated by helicopter after being trapped by the Creek Fire, and Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in five counties.

High temperatures and strong winds have made the situation even worse. Death Valley recently reached 130 degrees, which, if confirmed, would be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on the planet.

Residents being evacuated must weigh the risks of seeking refuge in evacuation shelters in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and people living far beyond the burn zone are struggling with the smoke.

Many are wondering what exactly causes these destructive wildfires. The causes actually come to four main contributors: climate, people, fire suppression, and the Santa Ana winds. California generally has an extremely hot and dry climate. But while California’s climate has always been fire-prone, the link between climate change and bigger fires is inextricable. With climate change affecting the hot dry air, the fires come as no surprise.

Despite the fact that the weather is right for wildfires, something has to ignite the cause and that is people. California has a lot of people and a really long dry season. People are always creating possible sparks, and as the dry season wears on and stuff is drying out more and more, the chance that a spark comes off a person at the wrong time just goes up. And that is even putting aside arson.

Another contributing factor to the fires is fire suppression. For the last century, we fought the fire, and we did pretty well at it across all of the Western United States. Every time we fought a fire successfully, that means that a bunch of stuff that would have burned didn’t burn. Over the last hundred years, we’ve had an accumulation of plants in a lot of areas.

Despite people’s hopes of the fires to stop, unfortunately, the second stage of this year’s fire season is yet to come. Each fall, strong gusts known as the Santa Ana winds bring dry air from the Great Basin area of the West into Southern California.

The chaos of these fires has destroyed people’s homes and put them in very dangerous positions. To help those affected by the wildfires, donations are encouraged to help prepare for, respond to and help people recover, Poisall said. Visit, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.