In these past days my attention was caught by the massive wildfires that have been rampaging the north of California. The media have given this phenomenon a lot of attention, and with good reason: the fires are massive and seem to be spreading at a more-than-alarming rate. The reason for the wildfire seems uncertain at this point, but if you come to think about it, there’s no ONE reason for the fire. As suggested, the starting point of the wildfires is most likely the numerous dry lightning strikes that took place over this past week, mostly in northern California.
But maintaining the gargantuan flames requires way more than simply the source of the outburst.
Years of severe drought (especially the last 4) have left their mark on the local vegetation, leaving behind numerous thickets of dried vegetation, which burnt violently, helping the fires spread “at the speed of light”. In my humble opinion, the impact would’ve been lesser if these past 4 years, the right investments and measure of precautions would have been taken by the local authorities. The signs of what was coming were evident, but collective lack of reaction is costing us dearly, as the aftermath will undoubtedly be far more expensive than the preventive measures involved.
So far the wildfire has stopped at nothing. It continued his destructive course even over a highway in Napa Valley. As the fires continue to spread, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) has placed over 13,000 people under order of evacuation and listed about 7,000 structures as threatened, most of which are homes. The Rocky Fire (as the blaze was named) has already engulfed 68,000 acres so far and destroyed well over 50 buildings since it eruption last week, in arid canyons near Clearlake. The costs of the destruction haven’t been estimated so far; they’re to be accurately calculated once the ordeal is over. I for one am even afraid to fathom the deficit that this will add to our already declining economy.
Smoke from the blaze is visible up to 80 miles South of Napa. But despite seeming at its peak, the ordeal is far from over. This upcoming week is thought to be even hotter and drier than the previous periods of time, according to Cal Fire estimates. So dampening the impact of the flames is still out of the question. But despite the grim scenario, firefighters are doing their best in order to control the pace of destruction. Over 10,000 firemen have been deployed in the area, along the state line, including even off duty personnel who was called back to work due to the state of emergency. According to Cal Fire, 3,200 men are assigned directly to the Rocky Fire vicinities, along with70 bulldozers, 19 water-dropping helicopter units and 5 air tankers.
The Obama administration was informed of the cataclysmic proportions of the wildfires in California, but didn’t seem to react promptly or decisively in the matter, having very little to say about the upcoming state of events. According to official news releases, most of the president’s time is filled with the unveiling on August the 10th 2015 of the final version of his plan in order to tackle climate change, which is set on reducing carbon emissions from the power sector by 32%. But this has very little to do with tackling the current unfolding disasters that are already taking place. The current lack of infrastructures is leaving the U.S. vulnerable to immediate disasters. The government’s plan is to reduce future climate impacts, but it’s hardly touching the subject of how natural disasters are affecting the lives of millions of Americans today. The Clean Power Plan (as the program is called), is most likely doomed to fail, as did others before it, if the funding of necessary infrastructure to withstand natural disasters scenarios will be delayed even further than it already has.
Salvation, however does not lie in governments, does not necessarily dwell in collective efforts. I’m afraid we’re past that point already. They will promise and they will bargain, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you, to your adaptability and survival instincts. We’ve been set on the road for destruction for many years now, and the Rocky Fire does nothing more than to demonstrate that it has already hit the fan, that the hard days that were coming are already here! So get ready, while there’s still time. Take all the survival precautions necessary: stack up on resources and reserves, start learning about what it takes to survive in hard times and be ready to defend yourself and the ones you love.