Wildfires savagely continue to strike California’s soil as the Governor announces the State of Emergency. The Tick Fire and the Kincade Fire are only a few of the many fires that have resulted in massive evacuations, as homes are burned down and people are left with nothing.
The fires have affected the poor and rich equally, with trailer parks and mansions crumbling to the ground. The real problem is the aftermath. While rich people can easily rebuild their home with their insurance money, poor people will feel the impact of the fires for years to come.
This week, the Tick Fire burned down 4,300 acres and forced 50,000 people to evacuate to safer zones. The wildfire spread so quickly, that schools were ordered to close and an evacuation order was instructed. Still, many people chose to ignore the order and stay, risking their lives as new fires could arise at any moment.
Reports express that at this rate, California will become unlivable, as this year’s fires’ magnitude have quickly surpassed last ar’s. Right now, around 130,000 people are homeless, exposing that the state is being affected by the key issue of lack of affordable housing. This problem has resulted in the construction of more low-cost houses located in the areas where wildfire risk is greater. So, people are putting their lives in jeopardy because they are financially unstable and can only afford a cheap house. This issue is growing in size as the fires continue to expand and will continue to if the government doesn’t step in.
At the moment, 2 million homes are at high risk for wildfire, as they are located in the wildfire-urban interference or WUI. This amount is three times as many as in any other states. The houses are built in this area because finding space in California’s many urban regions is very difficult, and because many struggling families find these houses affordable.
Sadly, what Californians are going through is only the start. For now, the best solution is the immediate evacuation of people living in these dangerous areas and to help the affected ones by donating money.