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Drought-stricken “tinderbox” California prepares for a fire months ahead

A small community at Berry Creek, located on a hillside in California, was burnt in a large fire in September 2020. The area was devastated, killing 15 people in a blink of an eye.

“Everyone panics when smoke here,” said Steve Clouder, the mayor of a small paradise town that almost disappeared from the map in a wildfire in California in 2018.


Former police officers still struggle to hold back tears when talking about a fire that killed dozens of people and involved 95% of his community’s buildings.

“It’s still difficult to get over the 85 people’s failure to attend,” he told AFP.

“It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life … I think fire is terrorizing everyone here.”

Throughout California, the deadly Inferno has only expanded since its traumatic year, with approximately 4.3 million acres covered in smoke by 2020.

Today, the western states of the United States are preparing for the worst as yet another dry summer is approaching. Compared to the same period last year, more than five times more vegetation is already burning this year.

“In the last 25 months, 101 civilians have been killed in wildfires and more than 21,000 buildings have been destroyed in Butte County,” said John Messina, fire chief of the county in Paradise. ..

According to Messina, “this is a replacement for what California sees today,” it acts as a warning about what lies ahead of the rest of the state, or as a “ground zero.” ..

“In the past, there could have been one noticeable fire in the summer,” he said. “Currently, 50% of our fires are noteworthy. What we are paying attention to is really, really, really beyond our expectations of growth and intensity.”

Fire Chief John Messina said Butte County would act as a warning, or

Fire Chief John Messina said Butte County is acting as a “ground zero” warning of what lies ahead of the rest of California.

“No reset”

Fires are part of the natural cycle of California forests, but the fire season begins early and ends late each year.

Climate change is “believed to be a major factor in this trend,” state fire officials said in a 2021 forecast, extending the fire season by an estimated 75 days in some parts of the state. I am.

For Messina, the concept of “fire season” in summer and autumn no longer makes sense.

“The season of fires is all year round-although certain times are busier, the potential for wildfires exists all year round,” he said.

“We work very hard for our employees for 4, 5, 6 and 7 months during the summer.

“California no longer has a reset.”

“Tinderbox”

To make matters worse, there is a chronic shortage of rainfall affecting California, especially the northern counties.

As a sign of a drought in California, Lake Oroville in May 2021 was half the normal water level of the year.

As a sign of a drought in California, Lake Oroville in May 2021 was half the normal water level of the year.

“This is another exceptional year when it comes to the potential of this year,” said Messina, who said that the vegetation was already extremely dry earlier this year. Pointed out.

“All you need is ignition. Problems can occur, so we’re very cautious,” he said.

According to Mr. Clauder, the vegetation around Paradise is like a “tinderbox” that dries a few months earlier than usual.

His town in northern California has taken some steps to avoid the tragic “camp wildfire” of 2018. Homeowners needed to clean the brushes, especially around the building, and keep the lawn mowing less than 4 inches.

Firefighters are stepping up inspections to ensure that the rules are being followed.

However, since the mass evacuation in 2018, only thousands of the town’s former 26,000 inhabitants have returned to paradise, making this effort even more difficult. Many landowners have difficulty or impossible contact.

“I asked each one to do it for their neighbors, if not for themselves,” said the mayor. “I’ll do everything I can to make it a fire-safe city.” “There is,” said the mayor.

The levels of flammable vegetation in the area are well below those before 2018, but “if we don’t do anything for the next 10 years, we’ll be back in place,” he added.

Paradise Mayor Steve Clouder still struggles to hold back tears when talking about the fires that killed dozens of people.

Mayor Steve Clauder of Paradise still struggles to hold back tears when talking about a fire that has killed dozens of people and burned 95% of community buildings.

“I’m exhausted”

A short drive from Paradise, Berry Creek’s small community is on the hillside burnt by a massive fire last September. The area was devastated, killing 15 people in a blink of an eye.

Unlike many other inhabitants who lost everything in the fire, Jimmy decided to return to the town where he first settled 44 years ago.

Survivors in their 60s have been preparing to build prefabricated homes nine months after the fire.

He recently moved to a nearby trailer and carefully removed the brushes as the foundation work proceeded with the water from the drilling holes.

He said the new construction was “a fire A tolerant house with everything, including a metal roof, “he said, but admitted that the event made a serious emotional sacrifice.

“My life has taken years. I’m tired.”


A fiercely burning fire in northern California


© 2021 AFP

Quote: Drought-stricken “tinderbox” California on June 2, 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021- in preparation for a fire months ahead (June 2, 2021) Obtained from 06-drought-hit-tinderbox-california-braces-months. .html

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Drought-stricken “tinderbox” California prepares for a fire months ahead

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