NEWS INSIGHT

California is Burning Once Again

by Ege GAZİTEPE

The state of California is once again battling a disastrous wildfire called the El Dorado fire due to its starting location being the El Dorado Ranch Park in San Bernardino county. El Dorado fire started on September 5 Saturday at 10:23 a.m. PT due to a malfunctioning smoke-generating pyrotechnical device used in a gender reveal party. Even though this incident can be regarded as a tragicomical event due to its reasoning for existence its effects had quite been hellish for the people and wildlife affected by it.

El Dorado fire destroyed 21,678 acres of land and 10 buildings, it also damaged 6 other buildings to a degree. Sadly the fire also took the life of a brave firefighter who died as a hero battling the fire while another 12 people were non-fatally injured as of September 19. As of the moment, 600 personnel have been deployed along with 60 fire trucks and 6 firefighting helicopters according to the governmental Cal Fire website. Firefighters managed to contain 66 percent of the fire but had to evacuate the communities of Oak Glen, Yucaipa Ridge, Mountain Home Village, and Forest Falls during their operation. The total cost of the fire sits at 8 million dollars but could rise to much more if the fire keeps destroying property and land. All this destruction and damage is just because of a gender reveal party.

Gender reveal parties are common sights in the US though most of them are just done by cutting a cake which is either blue or pink on the inside. Some people though like a bit more extravagance and they want to reveal their baby's gender by blue or pink-colored explosions. This kind of action has a tendency to go wrong really quickly just like what happened in this incident. Surprisingly and sadly this is not the first gender reveal party related wildfire in the US. The same thing happened back in 2017 in the state of Arizona, the fire burned an even larger area of land namely 47.000 acres and it also had cost 8 million dollars to the US government. Unfortunately, it seems that the American populace did not learn their lesson as history only took 3 years to repeat itself to burn down yet another state.

 

Californians are no strangers to wildfires though as the state of California experiences more than 7.000 wildfires every year with most of them being natural fires caused by extreme heat or thunderstorms. The effects of climate change only worsened this situation as it sparked a rise in the number of fires and marked 2020 as the worst year for the number of wildfires in California as the previously mentioned extreme heat and thunderstorms reached an all-time peak this summer. Expectantly from this all-time high, another big fire happened just a few weeks back were 200 campers stranded in Sierra National Forest surrounded by fire on all sides. Military helicopters and military personal were needed to save the victims as firefighters and their helicopters were not enough for the rescue. Thankfully there were no casualties but 12 people got injured. Authorities are not yet decided on if the fire was all-natural or if someone committed arson.

 

No one, not even authorities can say for sure when the El Dorado will be controlled and extinguished or how much further damage it can cause. The general populace can only hope for better forest safety regulations in the future from their state government and common sense from their fellow man. Otherwise, the beautiful state of California may turn into a barren wasteland in the future. Let us just hope this will not be the case. (1) (2) (3) (4)

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