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Climate Change 2020

We’re in the midst of a climate crisis. We are experiencing weather conditions, the likes of which we have never experienced in our lifetime. We are experiencing what so many people predicted decades and decades ago but all of that now is reality. Climate change has led to drought and hotter weather that has left California's state’s forests parched and dry and easy to ignite. Combined, the fires that have raged across the state this year have burned more than 3 million acres in area 26 times larger than what burned this time last year. They’ve also been blamed for 19 deaths and the destruction of nearly 4,000 buildings. It's a little bit exhausting that us Californians have to continue to debate this issue. This is a climate emergency. This is real and it’s happening. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is directing his administration to accelerate California’s transition to clean energy and other climate policies the state previously adopted. He offered a few specific ideas but suggested that the state’s target of getting 100% of electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045 was too slow. That reality includes the fact that five of the 20 largest wildfires in the state’s history have burned in the past few weeks. And the worst of the wildfire season may be yet to come.

As September and October move cooler temperatures are surfacing however don’t let these cooler temperatures fool you. Cal Fire fools you Historically, we experience our largest and most damaging wildfires during those months.” While the three fires closest to the Bay Area, the LNU, SCU and CZU complexes saw no growth overnight, fires in Northern California continued to prove challenging. The Creek Fire, burning along the San Joaquin River in Fresno and Madera counties, had grown to more than 175,000 acres by Friday evening, officials said, has destroyed 369 buildings and threatening more than 14,000. The fire was 6% contained Friday, with officials not anticipating full containment until October.

At midday Friday, the Oro Quincy Highway near Oroville was shrouded with a thick cloud of smoke as the massive North Complex raged to the east. Evacuated residents’ cars lined the side of the highway near a roadblock, waiting for word of whether they could get back in or not. Cal Fire destroyed the community of about 500 residents, leaving little standing. Amid the sea of dire news, There is one piece of positive information to relay Friday evening. They have found remains of nine people in the fire zone, not 10. The Sheriff's Office has released the names of two people whose remains were found. One was 16-year-old Josiah Williams, and the other was 77-year-old Millicent Catarancuic.

To date, the North Complex fires, which includes the North Complex West Zone, which struck primarily in Butte County, have burned 252,173 acres and is 21% contained. Just days ago, the green suspension bridge over Lake Oroville was ablaze with orange fire on all sides. On Friday afternoon, it was choked in smoke. Along the winding road leading from Oroville to Berry Creek, burned tree stumps lined the guardrail and a car sat charred, flipped on its roof. Though there are 14,000 responders statewide fighting fires, Cal Fire has said it’s understaffed in the face of the giant blazes. But there was hope Friday that more help might eventually be on the way. During his visit, Newsom signed AB2147 by Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, which will allow formerly incarcerated people who have trained at state fire camps to more quickly expunge their criminal records.  What we are experiencing right here is coming to a community all across the United States of America unless we get our act together on climate change.


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