2018 is NOW the most destructive year for wildfires in Califonia on record. The Butte County #campfire wildfire has currently burned 100,000 acres and only 20% contained in the month of November. The Camp Fire is now the most destructive in HISTORY and continues to burn rapidly.
The Woolsey fire is a close second in destruction for southern California raging close to LA.
It is normal for California to have wildfires each year during the summer months due to its dry climate and vegetation, but it is not as common to have such destructive fires in November.
Climate change is happening NOW, is it to blame for California’s most destructive fires?
Climate change is a collection of phenomena diverging together with many theories developing around it. It’s causing many changes concerning Earth processes contributing to an increase in natural disasters.
You need to research the theories and events contributing to climate change to even start to fathom the effects we will be seeing in the near future. You can understand climate change more in our article What REALLY is Climate Change and Why You NEED to be Prepared.
What could be causing California’s wildfires this year?
- Flammable construction material
- Overhead powerlines
The list can go on for causes of California’s wildfires. The Butte County fire did not start near an active volcano, but there are hundreds of small fault lines throughout the area.
California is under a HUGE amount of pressure from incoming seismic activity being stored throughout the whole west coast of the United States extending from the Juan de Fuca plate all the way down the San Andreas fault. Pressure underground is building including pressure under many volcanoes in the cascades. These areas have also experienced fires this year.
The Cascade subduction zone is also well overdue for an extremely large earthquake, over a 9+ magnitude earthquake that occurs on average every 250 years. It has been over 300 years since the last BIG ONE.
Pressure and stored energy mean heat!
California has also been experiencing high winds called the Santa Ana winds. These winds starting in northern California are known as Diablo wind. They are notorious for spreading wildfires at record speeds towards the coast.
These winds happen in the spring and the fall so we can see how this November Camp Fire is spreading so rapidly. As climate change continues with extreme high and low pressures happening, we can see stronger wind speeds aiding in California’s devastating wildfires.
California has two distinct fire seasons: the summer season, when hot temperatures dry out vegetation providing fuel for wildfires; and the fall fire season, when hot, dry Santa Ana winds blow in over the mountains from the desert. Research shows that global warming is making both of them worse. – Pacific Standard
With high winds on the rise, people in the area also need to be mindful of Valley Fever. Here is an article of infectious diseases that were on the rise in the summer but can continue in the fall in warmer climates and during natural disasters – 22 Infectious Diseases and Illnesses to Watch Out For This Summer 2018
It is speculated that overhead powerlines might be to blame for the current fire spreading in Northern California according to The Sacramento Bee.
Another article from the Santa Cruz Sentinal releases information about a utility company that was warned about the strong wind in the area to shut down power but never did. This company has also been to blame for previous wildfires throughout California.
Is climate change to blame?
It is hard to say the exact cause of each wildfire in California. After all, it is a natural process that occurs in the area and some conifers need the fire in order to open up their pine cones to seed.
It is a natural process at times and some are caused by humans, but the amount of fires and devastation IS increasing as the climate continues to dramatically change.
There is no doubt that climate change IS responsible for the intensity and spread of fires in California. These fires will continue to grow intensity and with frequency.
If you are in the area, stay safe and evacuate now. The smoke from these fires does have cancer-causing agents that may linger for days.
Climate change may or may not be to blame but we do need to understand that natural forces are in motion that has occurred in the past to help us prepare for the future but these natural forces are not completely understood in the mass community.