The West is burning.
CNN reported that there have been about three million acres burned from wildfires this year. To put that into perspective, that’s about the size of Deleware and Rhode Island combined, plus a little more.
As of now, there’s no end in sight either for the fires tearing apart our environment and wildlife.
The California Monument Fire
One of the wildfires that continues to be a growing concern is the California Monument Fire. It is burning in Trinity County, has grown more than 6,000 acres in one night, and is at 0% containment. It has more than doubled by Wednesday.
ABC 7 KRCR reports that the sheriff’s office in the area issued an evacuation order on Tuesday morning for Cedar Flat. This is the area along Highway 299 and between Del Loma and Burnt Ranch. Both of these areas are already under mandatory evacuation as of Monday.
Firefighters are actively battling the fire, which is beginning to threaten structures and spread to new areas.
There is also a large rockslide that has blocked part of Highway 299. The fire has impacted communication, seeing as it has brought down phone and internet lines in the Big Bar area.
There are also now very gusty winds that are fanning the giant wildfire flames in the West. Wind speeds of about 40 mph are expected, which, combined with dry vegetation, is a further disaster.
Other Fires and Air Quality
There are about 90 large wildfires in the West, many of which remain uncontained. The Dixie Fire is the largest wildfire in California and has burned about 255,000 in its fiery path of destruction. The Boulder 2700 Fire burns close to 2,000 acres and has destroyed more than 20 structures. All three of these fires have led to evacuation orders as crews desperately try to calm the flames.
The largest fire in the nation right now is the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. It was only 84% contained earlier this week. It has burned over 646 square miles. More than 2,200 people help battle this massive fire.
According to USA Today, the fires are also adding on other concerns beyond the enveloping flames. There are air quality alerts in effect in certain states, including Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, the interior Northwest, and the upper Midwest. The fires are emitting huge volumes of microscopic smoke particles.
When breathed in, this can cause both immediate and long-term health problems. People with any kind of underlying issues like heart disease and asthma are being told to avoid the outdoors as much as possible.
The effects of the wildfires in the American West are felt all around the country. That includes 2,500 miles away on the East Coast. There have been haze clouded skies and air quality alerts in place.