As 2017 comes to a close, Southern Californians are experiencing some of the worst fires since the 1960’s.
The season consists of six fires. All are fast moving due to low humidity and high wind speeds. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, the fires have covered over 260 miles and left destruction of over 1,000 buildings and homes in their wake. The first fire-linked death happened this past Friday, December 10th.
The first fire started early on Sunday, December 4th. The Thomas fire has quickly escalated due to high wind speeds. Claiming over 230,000 acres of land from Ventura to Santa Barbara. The largest of the six fires have only been able to be about 15% contained. Firefighters from all over the state have come to help, but the fire seems only to be getting worse. California sent a request to the White House for federal assistance because of the raging fire.
Later Sunday evening, Los Angeles was struck by another fire, west of the Thomas Fire. The Creek Fire has gained over 15,000 acres. Luckily, it was able to be controlled quickly and now is about 95% contained.
Sadly, Los Angeles’s break was cut short when on Thursday, December 8th, another fire started. The Rye fire broke out in west Valencia. After about 6,000 acres burned, the fire is 93% contained.
Thursday also brought a threat to San Diego. In North County, the Lilac fire has burned 4,100 acres of land. The firefighters have it 75% contained, but it is a struggle every day. Along with low humidity and winds, it is suggested that the end of the drought could have been one of the reasons for the fire due to plants drying quickly.
There have also been some slight brush fires. The Liberty fire started Thursday, December 9th, as well. It covered 300 acres. Even though it is 100% contained, the high winds test the boundaries of the containment. Along with the Liberty fire, the Skirball fire has cleared 420 acres of land and is about 75% contained. Evacuations have been lifted for residents in Bel-Air.
1000 fire departments from all over the state have come to Southern California’s rescue. Working day and night, these 8,700 firefighters have been working to put out the fires and keep the people safe.
But it’s not just the firemen who are helping.
A popular video shows a man on the side of the road, saving a wild rabbit that ran into the fire. He saved the rabbit though refused to reveal his identity. The video has since gone viral, but the man’s identity remains unknown.
According to CBS, this had been the most destructive fire season on record and it is speculated to only get worse in the future. Because of the climate change, California is getting hotter, and the strong fires are just the beginning.