Monument Fire Now Over 183,000 Acres Wide, Grew Over 4,000 Acres in Single Night

by Shelby Scott

California’s wildfires continue to rage amid increased temperatures. Most recently, the Monument Fire consumed more than 183,000 acres, growing more than 4,000 acres over a single night. It’s currently the third-largest fire in the state.

Currently, firefighter crews battling the flame number more than 2,000, and residents have had to evacuate. As of Monday, about 37% of the fire saw containment. Although, firemen have a while to go before the blaze is entirely under control.

According to Newsweek, the fire currently advances through Northwest CA’s Trinity County, which lies east of Eureka. The U.S. Forest Service said they expect the Monument Fire to see full containment by November 1st. The Forest Service further stated that with high temperatures, a high-pressure system bringing dry conditions, and single-digit humidity, fire activity may only increase.

The National Weather Service said temperatures Monday reached an unbearable 89 degrees. Nevertheless, crews persisted in their battle with the state’s wildfires. The outlet stated the Monument Fire ignited when lightning struck near Monument Peak on July 30th.

Like Monument Fire, the Dixie Fire Ravaging California

California’s Monument Fire, while the most recent, has not reached anywhere near the destructive potential of the Dixie Fire. The Dixie Fire broke out on July 13th. It’s since earned itself the title of the second-largest wildfire in CA history and the largest for 2021.

According to CalFire, Dixie continued “to burn out in the heavy material and was moderated by smoke settling over the fire area” along its West zone. As of now, the devastating fire is 57% contained. As a result, evacuated populations have begun returning to their homes.

Greenville, CA, one of the worst-ravaged towns in the path of the Dixie Fire, saw its residents attempt returning home on Friday. However, the devastation families and individuals expected was much worse than they could have realized. Greenville, which houses just about 1,000 people, saw the destruction of the majority of its homes and all of its businesses. The few homes that survived are currently uninhabitable. Right now, the area has no source of safe drinking water, phone, or internet service.

Authorities previously tested Greenville’s water and what they found is terrifying. Following the rampage of the Dixie Fire, local water sources possess large amounts of a chemical called benzene. Benzene frequently causes cancer and authorities have said that even boiling the water leaves it unsafe.

California’s Animals Become Trapped Amidst Devastating Wildfires

As California’s wildfires continue to thrive, the state’s wild animals consistently find themselves stuck in the midst of the flames. Recently, the resort town of Lake Tahoe saw bears and other creatures taking residence amid the abandoned streets. For them, it was the safest possible place the animals could find from the fire.

More recently, the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, an animal refuge in South Lake Tahoe, was able to evacuate all of the animals in their care ahead of the approaching Caldor Fire. While some animals took a little cajoling and coaxing, all animals and humans evacuated safely.

However, even when a wildfire concludes, wild animals are still at risk. Their habitats have been completely demolished and there is frequently no source of food or water. Greg Erfani, who helps manage the refuge said, “you can’t release [rehabilitated] animals in a burn scar area because there’s no food source.”