Fire fury


Alexis Miller

Wildfires have been brewing on the West Coast, since the beginning of August.

Alexis Miller, Feature Editor

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, an entirely new disaster has begun. The West Coast is experiencing a concerning amount of deadly wildfires; these fires have rampaged from Oregon to California, destroying everything from buildings to landscapes. 

On top of the destruction of property, a health concern has now risen in the state of Oregon. 

“The air quality index has shot up to over 600, exceeding the scale’s maximum value of 500 and reaching unprecedented levels in the United States,” said Mira Rojanasakul, writer for Bloomberg. “The air quality on the West Coast is currently the worst in the world.” 

Unfortunately, the burning is nowhere near under control. Although firefighters are working to the best of their ability, there is little they can do for the large areas that have been affected by the continuous flames. 

“An area close to the size of New Jersey has burned in the three states since the beginning of this year,” said Rojanasakul. “Smoke from the fires has blotted out the sun and stained the skies Martian shades of orange and red.”

Also, smoke from the wildfires is now becoming a concern for many U.S. states, and in some cases, other countries. Currently, smoke can be seen many miles from its origin; it has been reported in parts of Northern Europe. 

The fact that these fires are emitting so much pollution into the atmosphere that we can still see thick smoke over [5,000 miles] away reflects just how devastating they have been in their magnitude and duration,” said Lee Brown, writer for the New York Post. 

California and many parts of the West Coast have experienced what scientists would consider their driest season yet. Unfortunately, there is no solution to this issue; anything and everything from lightning strikes, to wind storms, can contribute to the continuous burning of the wildfires. However, smart choices are highly recommended for the population of these states. Take the gender reveal party gone wrong as an example. 

A family made their way out to the El Dorado Ranch Park for what seemed like an exciting and invigorating gender reveal, but, as they would soon find out, using pyrotechnics for the reveal was a decision they would come to regret. 

“Surveillance video from the party showed a couple with several children walking into the grass at the edge of the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa,” said Amir Vera, writer for CNN. “Another person is seen in the video appearing to light the device. Soon after, the family can be seen on video scrambling and grabbing water bottles as the flames grow.”

While this was an unexpected twist to the West Coast wildfires, it is hard to place blame upon any one person involved. As for the rest of the burning countryside, there is only hope for a safe derailing of this tragedy. With the help of volunteers, firefighters and onlookers, there is sure to be an end. Unfortunately, the destruction cannot be reversed, but there is hope for a speedy, fast end to this disaster.