This week California has experienced a historic lightning siege, causing nearly 11,000 strikes and sparking over 367 new fires.
Rabat – Wildfires continue to rage across Northern California, consuming everything in their paths. At least four people have died as a result of wildfires, caused by a blitz of lightning strikes in California’s northern areas, leaving a wake of dozens of small fires.
California is currently experiencing a record heatwave, adding fueling the flames. The clusters of fires have merged into raging infernos, creeping up on residential areas and turning everything into ash and smoldering ruins.
This week California has experienced a historic lightning siege, causing nearly 11,000 strikes and sparking over 367 new fires, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Thousands of people received orders to evacuate their homes in regions surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area this week, as nearly 40 wildfires blazed across California. Smoke blanketed the city of San Francisco.
Photos of the California wildfires invoke post-apocalyptic feelings as crews struggle to battle the inferno.
“Throughout the state of California right now, we are stretched thin for crews” because of the wildfires, said Will Powers, a state fire spokesperson. “Air resources have been stretched thin throughout the whole state.”
Californians are already wary about leaving their homes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate. California has reported more than 650,000 cases, becoming the first state to report over 600,000 cases last week.
Tens of thousands of people evacuated to shelters seeking refuge from the flames. However, they have taken the risk of increasing their exposure to the virus and spreading it further.
“This is an incredibly emotional and stressful time for most of us who’ve endured a number of wildfires over the last few years,” said Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick.
California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the wildfires, calling them clear evidence of climate change, in a last-minute video recorded for the Democratic National Convention after he visited an evacuation center.
“If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” he said.
Experts have repeatedly warned that wildfires fueled by the climate crisis will be the new normal in California. Warm-season days in the state have increased by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit on average since the early 1970s, according to a study published last year in the journal Earth’s Future.