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Wildfires decimate California

Wildfires+in+California+laid+waste+to+thousands+of+acres+and+destroyed+businesses+and+homes.
Wildfires in California laid waste to thousands of acres and destroyed businesses and homes.

Wildfires in California laid waste to thousands of acres and destroyed businesses and homes.

photo courtesy of wikipedia

photo courtesy of wikipedia

Wildfires in California laid waste to thousands of acres and destroyed businesses and homes.

Karthik Myneni, Scribe Editor

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Over the past few weeks, California has been looking like a scene out of a doomsday movie. Fire sparing nothing in the north while triple-digit temperatures maliciously attack the south. The fire has been ferocious, feeding on everything in its path. As such, it is now called the most dangerous wildfire in the state’s history.

According to Cal Fire’s website, there are currently seven active fires, each with variation in percent contained. From North to South, the fires are the Redwood Valley Fire, Sulphur Fire, Pocket Fire, Tubbs Fire, Nuns Fire, Atlas Fire and finally the Bear Fire. The percent contained is 98, 98, 89, 94, 90, 95, and 85 respectively. Together, the 245,000 acre Northern California wildfires destroyed approximately 8,400 structures along with at least 42 fatalities. 23 of them are from Sonoma County. There were 21 people still missing in Sonoma County as of Monday morning, said Misti Harris, a spokesperson for the county sheriff’s office.

Aside from the physical damage of the fire itself, there has been severe economic damage wrought on residents. As firefighters seized greater control of the wildfires, people started trickling back to their homes to see what was left. Mark Skinner and his son Nick returned Monday to find their winery unharmed and their home intact. But the relief was not there. Skinner and his son planned to open the Von Strasser winery Tuesday to welcome the tourists that usually flock to the city this time of year. But the hotel around the corner from the winery — typically booked solid — is almost completely vacant.

“It’s going to take some time for us to recover economically,” Nick Skinner said.

Aside from lack of business is the housing crisis. The fire didn’t discriminate. It torched Santa Rosa’s high-end homes, middle-class neighborhoods, and a mobile home park. It left the entire spectrum of the city’s population in distress as homes and businesses went up in flames. Housing was already a crunch in the Bay Area and now people have nowhere to go.

“I’ve been going night-to-night, and it’s stressful,” said Conway on Wednesday.

Displaced residents are in shelters, mobile homes, staying with friends and family, or bouncing from one hotel to another, trying to figure out where they can stay after their homes were reduced to ash. Some have gone to stay with family more than a hundred miles away. But many have reportedly told that they want to stay close to Santa Rosa. They’ve lost their homes, they don’t want to lose their jobs as well.

Triple-digit temperatures and hot, gusty winds created “critical fire weather conditions” in Southern California on Monday, bringing a threat of rapidly spreading wildfires to the area, forecasters warned.

Triple-digit temperatures and hot, gusty winds created “critical fire weather conditions” in Southern California on Monday, bringing a threat of rapidly spreading wildfires to the area, forecasters warned. Red flag warnings, imminent fire threat, have been issued from San Diego to Los Angeles. The fire warnings come as California experiences the Santa Ana winds, which bring hot, extremely dry air across Southern and Northern California. With temperatures in triple digits, if a fire starts, it can become dangerous fast.

At this point, there is nothing to do left but to move on.

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Wildfires decimate California