As of October 27, 2020, over 8,836 fires have burned 4,350,916 acres, more than 4% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The intensity of the fires has been increased by drying and heating from human-induced climate change as well as decades of poor forest management. WIKI
Newsweek: Adding to the complexity of the 2020 wildfire season is the new coronavirus. The fires severely deteriorated air quality in the state and left toxic smoke hanging over California. Smoke can weaken people’s immune systems and cause respiratory illness, which could increase susceptibility to the new coronavirus.
California wildfires have increased in size eightfold since the 1970s, and the annual area burned by fires has increased by nearly 500%, according to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford. Of the top 10 largest wildfires in California’s history, five occurred in 2020, taking the number one, three, four, five and six spots on the list. Enter the “gigafire” — a term for a blaze that burns at least a million acres of land and a level above the “megafire,” which burns more than 100,000 acres. The expansive August Complex in the northern part of the state scorched more than a million acres and has become the largest fire in California’s history. CNN
In the past, the fire season was mainly from May through October. However, with climate change as a contributing factor, most recent disasters show that the season is beginning earlier and ending later each year, with some experts suggesting that the fire season in California is now year round. Hence, no one really knows when the devastating wildfires will be finally and fully contained. Until then headlines like today’s from CBS will continue: Southern California wildfires explode, forcing more than 60,000 to evacuate.
NBC News has provided a list of organizations that help those whose lives have been impacted.
Consider helping victims of the California Wildfires by giving to one of the organizations listed above or the charity of your choice.