CA Wildfires Continue to Blaze, Leaving a Wake of Fear and Anxiety

A scene from the Kincade Fire. Image: SF Gate

 

Blackouts Continue: Unprecendted preemptive power blackouts throughout the state continue as Californians struggle to live without power. Additionally, the blackouts have affected cell towers so that those that need help the most are left without cell reception. Many are questioning if the difficulties caused by the power shutoffs were really worth it as the fires were sparked anyway. Regardless, PG&E, the state’s largest utility, blundered the shutoff process while its website access woes still persist.

A Wakeup Call?: Five of California’s 20 deadliest wildfires have occurred during the last two years. And 10 of the 20 most destructive wildfires, in terms of structures lost, occurred over the last 10 years. These fires are growing worse as a result of climate change but it doesn’t feel as if the rest of the country is comprehending the urgency of taking drastic action on climate change. The New Republic’s Matt Ford summed it up best:

Why This Matters: THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I (Miro) grew up in Northern California and through the entirety of my formative years can recall one major wildfire that put us at risk of evacuation. These fires and the anxiety they bring are now yearly occurrences. It’s not just something to say that Californians are stressed, it’s a certifiable emotional trauma and just about all my friends back home in Sonoma experience it regularly. As I’m writing this right now, I’m looking at tickets to fly back home because I’m worried about my mom being alone as 80 mph winds blow through our valley and increase the chances of deadly blaze igniting at any moment. I’m making a mental list of which irreplaceable items I’ll put in a go-bag and which ones I’ll leave behind should a fire take our home. My family are the lucky ones, we have insurance, we have friends with whom we can stay should we be evacuated, and resources to replace our items–but a good amount of Californians do not. As we watch these wildfires ravage communities we’re also witnessing in real-time the human toll that climate change inflicts as it hits those with the fewest resources, the hardest.

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