Beginning last week, numerous wildfires have broken out across Northern California thanks to the hot, dry, and windy conditions. These wildfires continue to grow this week as conditions remain conducive for further growth and additional fires in the region. California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency for several counties in the region due to the thousands of acres already burned and the hundreds of homes threatened by the flames.
The largest of the active fires, dubbed the Pawnee Fire, is only 17 percent contained, as of Tuesday morning. This fire has already burned 13,000 acres, destroying 22 homes and threatening an additional 600 others. Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for the entire Spring Valley community, which is located in Lake County, about 100 miles northwest of Sacramento.
This comes after the most active wildfire season in California history last year when the Thomas Fire affected parts of Southern California, eventually become the largest fire in state history. Closer to where the Pawnee Fire is, the Santa Rosa fire from 2017 was responsible for destroying over 245,000 acres of land. By the conclusion of this fire, 42 people were killed and almost 7,000 buildings were destroyed.
Thankfully, no casualties have been reported associated with this wildfire, but based on the weather forecast there is no sign of this fire stopping anytime soon. Some residents from around the area are now dealing with anxiety and uncertainty after being forced to evacuate. Terri Gonsalves told KPIX news, “I think we’re all just so traumatized and overwhelmed with all these fires year after year, this whole community is at a breaking point.”
Featured image credit: CAL FIRE