The West Ablaze

Elliotte Schroeder, Editor

The year 2020 has been a whirlwind of unfortunate events. It’s no surprise that some of the western United States are being taken over by massive wildfires. For the past couple weeks, our own state has been struggling with demolished areas and dreadful smokey air coating our towns in ash. But even more recently, California has gained emergency level status with their own fires. 

It all started with a ‘lightning siege,’ according to the New York Times; over 10,000 bolts of lightning hit northern areas of the state, sparking approximately 367 fires. Conditions have forced many communities to evacuate their homes, which is an even bigger challenge with COVID-19 regulations. Some evacuees include University of California, Santa Cruz students and staff. The University’s Facebook page announced that evacuation is voluntary, but suggested, as mandatory evacuation could arise at any moment.

California’s majestic Redwoods have been affected as well. California’s Parks and Recreation department reported on their website that the state park has been ‘extensively damaged.’ Closures for over 80 miles of the park have been enacted. While government officials and first responders work diligently to save the state, the wildfires continue to spread rapidly across more than 350,000 acres. California citizens are left praying for rain.