This weekend, Dixie, the California’s largest wildfire it merged with a smaller fire, destroying everything in its path. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for four northern counties due to the extreme danger that they represent.
The thousands of firemen who fight fire by western united states, affected families and displaced animals are some of the constants in the images that will remain in the memory of 2021. This is how the fires in California.
The smoke that crossed the Nation
The air quality south of Lake Tahoe and in Nevada it deteriorated to very unhealthy levels and the smoke haze reached as far away as New York, where Lhe Statue of Liberty was overshadowed by the wildfire smoke that occur on the other side of the country.
.In California, the fire of Dixie that began on July 14 already charred about 298 square miles of wood and brush. Only 21% contained.
The firemenWith hand tools, they have been forced to walk through rough terrain where their vehicles cannot pass.
In some places it is almost impossible that humans put one foot on the ground. Still, the crews advanced without a moment’s hesitation.
Experts warn there will be more (and worse) fires
The fires in the western United States caused various evacuation orders in various communities. They have also threatened indigenous peoples’ lands, animal habitats and protected natural areas.
These conditions are often due to a combination of unusual weather patterns. intensified by climate change caused by human beings. The global warming has made the West much warmer and drier in the last 30 years and will continue to make the weather extreme, with the forest fires more frequent and destructive.
The warm weather of the season added to the afternoon winds represents a continuous threat of fire spread.
In addition, forecasts indicate the possibility of thunderstorms scattered in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and other states. But these thunderstorms that produce little rain generate lightning, which can cause new flames.
Western US faces 85 major fires
In states like Oregon, California and Washington, wildfires are advancing thanks to the extremely dry conditions and heat waves that have hit the region, which makes it difficult to fire fighting.
More of 85 major wildfires they are burning across the country, most of them in the western states. These have burned more than 1.4 million acres (2,135 square miles).
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But even when calls do not enter densely populated areas, the impact of fires they feel it directly native american communities, who have administered these lands for millennia.
A citizen of the tribe Karuk, Troy Hockaday, watched helplessly last fall how a Forest fire razed the homes of five members of his family, swallowed acres of Forest where his people hunt deer, elk and black bears, and killed a lifelong friend.
This year,l least two tribes have declared states of emergency amidst the devastation.
Forest fires: damage to health
Experts say that fire phenomenon is becoming more common with the global warming.
The crescent scientific investigation points to possible long-term health damage by breathing microscopic smoke particles. The authorities have been quick to protect people better, but there are still those who do not believe in the risks.
Decades fighting fires They allowed dead trees and other fuels to accumulate in the forests. Now him climate change is drying out the landscape, which makes it easier for fires ignite and spread.
So far in 2021, the number of days of unhealthy air quality is more than double that in the same period of the last two years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The wildfire smoke contains hundreds of chemical compounds and many can be harmful in large doses.
In years of intense fires during the last decade more than a million tons of particles have been emitted per year, according to an investigation of the Forest Service of the United States.
Scientists have warned that smoke exposure is linked to health problems such as lung damage, weakened immune systems, higher rates of the flu, and even covid-19.
These health effects can occur even at thousands of miles from the flames. The smoke loses its telltale odor, but remains a potential hazard even when far.
The people that they live near the fires are more likely to be prepared and take precautions, but those who live farther away remain exposed, for years, without knowing it.