Thousands Affected by the Recent California Wildfires


There has been five forest fires in California these past few weeks, destroying many families homes.

Ritika Vonguru, Reporter

At approximately 9:27 a.m. on Oct. 23, the Kincade fire burned 115 acres of land and destroyed nearly sixty homes. Kincade is just the most recent out of five California forest fires in the past weeks. This has not been the first time news broke about flaming fires across the bay. In fact, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection records that there have been 5,601 noted fires since the start of 2019, which have spread over approximately a 74,385 acres of land. The fires have made a tremendous impact on individuals, homes, and California’s environment. 


“It is blinding, +one moment the [fires] are far away and the next minute you are being forced to evacuate,” said a California resident. 


The National Weather Service of Los Angeles described Kincade and the other recent wildfires as an extreme warning, they are no longer tagged as a red flag warning. In particular, Southern California’s temperatures, humidity, and wind speeds are sparking serious danger. Its Santa Ana winds are ranging between 60 to 70 mph, destroying everything in its path.


“The wind will carry burning materials sometimes miles ahead of the fire. We are having to go around and one by one deal with those and mitigate those dangers as they pop up, which is always a difficulty, it being dynamic and not just a set fire line,” said California Fire spokesman Rhett Pratt


Recent reports state that over 26 million people are in high risk territory across California to Arizona and 20,000 individuals are evacuating their homes in seek of shelter with the number only increasing. These past few days, firefighters have been rushing into the blazes to help individuals and to hinder as many casualties in these locations. The conditions are only worsening as they will have to battle 11 significantly dangerous wildfires. 


“Seeing this is really horrifying because I have friends and family who live there,” said junior Kayla Zayas.


As the climate crisis grows, natural disasters only worsen. Global warming can be responsible for the burning forests, destroyed homes, and hundreds of casualties. The planet’s increased temperatures result in stronger and more severe weather conditions. Increased reliance on fossil fuels greatens the frequency of wildfires and other natural disasters, such as Florida’s hurricanes. Since California’s topography is already dry, the land is more flammable and as the temperatures rise, the scenarios worsen, making California’s location a prime spot for susceptible wildfires and drought.


“I think it is hypocritical for everyone to say how sorry they feel for the victims but continue to deplete our natural resources and indirectly contribute to these problems,” added junior Abigail Allen. 


Years and years of improper governmental misuse and environmental mismanagement can be credited for the badly executed decisions concerning the fires. As politics are present, policymakers dispute at the right path they think is most beneficial for this country. For what seems to be an obvious reason to help affected Californians, politicians sit back and watch the events unfold in front of their eyes because they want to dictate spending elsewhere or disagree with certain implementations. 


“The sad thing is that it always boils down to politics, not the importance of people’s lives,” said Zayas. 


As of now, the cost in damages is unknown, but is expected to be billions of dollars. Last year alone, the total cost was estimated to be around 400 billion dollars, making wildfires the most expensive natural disaster. 


Some families will return to their homes to find them burned down, loved ones missing, and mounds of their tax payer dollars now allocated for the reprimations. We continue to pray for those affected and hope for better policy making in the future. As for now, if you would like to donate to the victims please visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.