California is “Lit”… Literally


PT&C|LWG Forensic Consulting

A wildfire scorching a forest.

Daania Kalam, Photojournalist

Everyone has heard about the infamous California drought. Not only are we running out of water due to low precipitation levels; the natural vegetation is becoming very dry from lack of water. On top of this, temperature levels are increasing. This leaves plants dry and hot making them more vulnerable to start wildfires. The number of fires over the years has increased massively. In the past, the average between January 1st and April 18th was 492 fires and the burning of 1,300 acres. This year, during the same time frame, there have been 838 fires with 3,534 acres of burnt land. The drought is serving as gasoline to the flame.


Recent fires in the Valley have had over 73,700 acres burnt, displacing 13,000 people and destroying 585 homes. Along with this there have been four injured firefighters and three deaths total. In the Butte fire, over 70,760 acres scorched, another 10,000 people displaced, this fire needed the service of 4,327 firemen and women. Along with the loss of two lives and 365 homes, 261 outbuilding demolished.


As a state, we need to work together to protect our state. In order to prevent wildfires, here are a few simple tips. First, do not leave burning debris unattended and make sure campfires are completely extinguished before abandoning them. Keep watch over equipment that could potentially catch fire like lawnmowers, ATVs and power equipment. Also, if you smoke, be mindful of the disposal of your cigarette the small ember you may find harmless could be left unattended into small shrubbery and could potentially burst into flames. Being aware of the people around you is also important. For example, we need to prevent the possibility of people playing with matches. All that is needed is a simple spark. What goes up must always come down. Fireworks are also hazardous to the environment. If there is a use of fireworks, one should be aware with the rules and regulations of using fireworks. Last but not least, work as a community, family, or individual to help stop the drought. Show you care by doing your share.