California wildfires continue to threaten homes

Dangerous flames are surrounding thousands of homes in one of the most populated parts of the U.S.A.
california wildfires Even though California has a history of wildfires, this fall has been especially difficult. And it's not over yet. (© Jennifer Walz | Dreamstime)

The summer, a vicious cycle of forest fires hit British Columbia. Then in the fall, similar wildfires began in California. When they first began, these fires hit mainly in the northern part of the state. While this is an area that features several important industries, such as wineries and tourism, it is not as heavily populated as other parts of California.

But that has all changed.

Many people at risk

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For a second straight week, massive fires are threatening Los Angeles. (Getty Embed)

Today, Los Angeles, the second-largest urban centre in the United States, is surrounded by flames. For context, whether it is British Columbia in 2017 or Fort McMurray in 2016, the threatened population measured in the thousands. Metropolitan Los Angeles, however, is home to 17 million people.

Meanwhile, new fires erupted last Friday that have the potential of being blown toward San Diego, home to another 1.4 million people.

Fast moving threat

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A fire helicopter attempts to hold back the enormous and dangerous Thomas Fire. (Getty Embed)

Why is this happening? After a wet spring, a summer of very dry weather has provided the perfect environment for these wildfires. Then, powerful seasonal winds called the Santa Ana winds are spreading them around the parched forests.

By itself, the largest fire, known as the Thomas Fire, currently covers 230,000 acres, which is more than all of New York City and Boston combined. It is the fifth-largest wildfire in California history. Several other smaller fires cover around another 30,000 acres. Over the course of these fires, well over 100,000 people have been evacuated at different times.

Here to stay?

Firefighters and weather experts feel that this problem is likely to stick around until January. Despite being declared a national emergency, with fires this large, all people can do is try to keep them at bay and wait for them to burn themselves out.


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  1. I love you magazines and read them a a lot. Thank you for this; i love California, but my mom told me the articles in news about this same subject might be too confusing or scary for me; i’m 12 Years old and just started middle school this year. 💡 fires are a bit scary!!!
    Avid Owl reader

  2. In my opinion I think that its great that you are telling us about what’s happening even if its scary. Its good to learn about history because it teaches us not repeat the same mistakes as generations before us did. For example the Holocaust. I’m learning about it in school and its a incredibly sad event but, it teaches us to not make that immense mistake again. Learning about problems around the world that happened or are happening is not a mistake.

    Thank you for sharing that message Owl!

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