Paradise’s Burning

Max Boyd

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The deadliest wildfire in California’s history ripped through the town of Paradise, California on November 8, killing 85, and destroying 14,000 homes.


The Camp Fire, named after Camp Creek Road in Butte county, California, was the deadliest American wildfire in the past 100 years according to CNN News.  A sense of panic set in during the evacuation, with over 40,000 people rushing to escape gridlocked roads and highways, having to leave behind pets, belongings, and homes, knowing there was little to no chance they would see them again.

The National Climate Assessment has stated numerous times that the prolonged dry seasons across the United States exist due to increased climate change.  However, the current administration refuses to acknowledge the clear culprit of the wildfires, with President Trump stating: “I don’t believe it. No, I don’t believe it.”


The White House claims the main cause for the fires is poor wildfire management, not the dry seasons that have resulted in 129 million dead trees in California… Gasoline for the ongoing infernos.


Again, the deadly wildfire has resulted from “Six years of drought, a pine beetle infestation and generations of forest mismanagement,” says Bill Weir.  Another shocking statistic comes from Dr. Faith Kearns: “25,000 houses were built in the last 10 years and in the same time, 20,000 houses have burned.”  


Lieutenant Brian Thompson of the Hartford Fire Department states that “The fires in California have been unprecedented over this past year… Firefighting is a profession where you try to control something that can quickly become out of control.  The 2018 California Wildfire have been something Firefighters have never seen in the size and speed that they ravaged the California landscape.”


It is clear something must change, but will it?  Will those in power finally step up and acknowledge the issues that plague thousands of people?  


Many people may feel this issue is out of sight, therefore out of mind.  The fact of the matter remains: the situation is very real for Paradise citizens.  Students at the local schools have been forced to study at a local mall, and taking calculus in between a JC Penney and a Brookstone store is likely not the way they thought they would end their senior year of High School.  


It is of utmost importance that we do not forget the fact that thousands of Americans are suffering loss and devastation as a result of the fires in California.  While not everyone can empathize with wildfire victims, everyone can sympathize: Would you want your house and all your belongings to burn to ash? Unless you are committing insurance fraud, probably not.