Scientists say that climate change has exacerbated the havoc of the wildfires
WRITTEN BY: ALEX KELLY, GUEST WRITER
Wildfires have been burning through the West Coast for the past three weeks, devasting areas of California, Oregon and Canada..
The record-breaking fires are caused by human negligence, but amplified by climate change. They have been burning throughout the Pacific Coast, from California to Washington to parts of Canada, while leaving ash and air pollution in their fiery wake.
There have been 35 fire-related casualties in addition to the hundreds of thousands of West Coast citizens who have been affected by the inferno. Many of these people had to evacuate because of the smoke.
Climate change is considered a primary cause of the wildfires. California in particular has been going through a drought for the past 20 years, which causes the fires to spread further.
While California has had wildfires on and off for the past couple of summers, the fires this year are much worse. The blaze is spreading to parts of Oregon and Washington that were previously less susceptible to fires.
The wildfires have also spread quickly because of the dry and windy weather, causing millions of acres of forests to burn down. The expansion of the blazes have been concerning, too, as they are moving faster than predicted.
President Trump flew into Sacramento for a briefing about the fires on Monday, which he blamed on poor management from Governor Gavin Newsom. As Air Force One entered California, smoke was visible in the distance.
Democratic Nominee Joe Biden also weighed in on the wildfires, blaming climate change.
Across the coast, the sky is currently covered in a thick smoke leading to horrifying images of a bright orange and gray sky. People in the Bay Area were surprised on Friday when they woke up to ash raining down from above.
Apps like PurpleAir are being used to gauge the quality of the air in affected areas and hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated.
Approximately 15,000 firefighters are being sent out to try to fight the growing blazes and rescue survivors.
Various politicians and celebrities have weighed in on the devastation of the recent fires. Senator Bernie Sanders posted an unfiltered photo on Twitter showing the fire spreading under a burnt orange sky.
Calif. Senator and Democration Vice Presidential nominee Kamal Harris posted a photo on Twitter of herself and Governor Newsom surverying burn sites in affected areas.
The evacuation provides its own problems, however.
Many people are losing their houses, and providing substantial lodging while social distancing and quarantining is proving to be a problem in itself.
Relief organizations are trying to prevent this loss by providing shelter in hotels and other safe places while making sure that people social distance.