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Wild Fires in California

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The Devastating Wildfires in California  

        On November 8, 2018, one of the most devastating wild fires to happen in California occurred. What probably started from a little spark turned into to a wildfire that burned over 96,949 acres of land and destroyed over 10,000 homes and businesses. It also took the life of over 80 people as of now. No one knows yet how it started and it could take up to months for investigators to find the what started it, though they think it is a good possibility it had to do with some type of human doing. Some also think it was caused by a down electrical line that could have fallen from the wind.

        The fire started on a day where there was very low humidity, and high winds. The area was also going through a drought with some areas going over 200 days with out any rain. This is of course the perfect mixture for a wildfire to happen. Climate change is also to blame for this terrible fire. With more and more occurrences for droughts in California, it leaves the vegetarian dry and the chance for fires to increase. This happens because of where California is located. Like most of west America, California gets most of its moisture in the fall and winter. After that, there’s not much moisture and the vegetation slowly starts to become more and more dry and eventually dies from the lack of rainfall. That dead vegetation turns into the perfect kindle for a wildfire. Global warming doesn’t help either. The temperatures are about two to three degrees Fahrenheit warmer now then it was before. This dries out the vegetation even more which makes it more susceptible to burn.

        The last element to blame for this fire is the wind. The Santa Ana winds to be exact. Each fall, the Santa Ana winds come from the Great Basin area of the West into southern California. Dr. Sun, the professor who studied these winds and the affect on wild fires, says that there’s two distinct fire seasons. One, being driven by a combination of warm and dry weather. The second, being driven by the Santa Ana winds. He studied that previous wildfires started by the winds tend to spread three times faster than wildfires not caused by the winds. The winds also move embers around which spreads more fires. Also, if the fall rain doesn’t arrive on time like they did this year, then the winds can make dry conditions even drier.

        With the combination of Human error, dry conditions, and the Santa Ana winds, it makes the perfect recipe for a wildfire to start. Not only to start, but to keep spreading through acres of dry vegetation and to grow so big that it lasts for 13 days. This fire will be remembered for a long time as it was one of the largest to hit California in awhile and because of all the people it impacted. California will have to keep taking precaution as there will certainly be one in the future with all of the wind and dry wilderness that serves as the perfect combo for another wildfire to start.



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