California had its most destructive wildfire season these past few months. Thousands of people were instructed to evacuate their homes and some were forced to leave their homes leaving everything behind. Out of all the wildfires that occurred this season, there are two major fires known as the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire.
The Camp Fire ravaged the entire town of Paradise in Butte County California. It began on the morning of November 8th and ended on November 25th. The fire was finally completely contained after 17 days. The fire destroyed more than 18,800 structures including homes, churches, schools, and hospitals. Thousands of people are currently in the homes of their relatives, shelters, and tents.
The fire killed 88 people and injured 12 civilians and 5 firefighters. Although the number of missing people was initially reported to be 3,100, the number has steadily decreased these past few weeks to 25. The town of Paradise, which is home to 27,000 residents, is now completely gone. Residents will now have to start rebuilding their homes and their lives in this long road of recovery ahead of them.
The Woolsey Fire also began on November 8th and burned through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The fire claimed the lives of three people while thousands of residents were told to evacuate. Many structures that were destroyed in Malibu included homes of celebrities, historic movie sets, and rehabilitation centers. Many celebrities who have lost their homes in the fire have asked people to donate to the victims. The fire reached 100% containment on Wednesday, November 21.
The fire being contained that day was a major relief as a rainstorm was expected to come in the coming days and cause further destruction to homes. The fire also began just one day after the mass shooting that killed twelve people in a bar in Thousand Oaks. As many mourn for the deaths of those who were lost in the shooting, there is now a long road of recovery ahead of them as well for the destruction that has been done by the fire.
As the number of wildfires continues to increase, it only serves as a reminder that climate change is growing. Emory University student Justin Kim has stated, “The recent wildfires in California have been truly devastating. Not only have people lost lives, but many buildings and homes have also been burned to the ground. This tragedy seems to point towards the growing threat of climate change. As the climate begins to get worse, hopefully, leaders will be able to come up with a plan to prevent such tragedies from happening.”
Victims of the fire are now left with the destruction of their homes as many continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones.
Jennie Kim, Grade 11
Immaculate Heart High School