The reason for wildfires in the Western United States
This year has seen the worst outbreak of wildfire in California, wreaking havoc all over the state. In 2018, more than 7500 fire outbreaks have occurred, and destroyed around 2,000,000 acres, with financial damages running into billions of dollars. The casualties and fatalities involved in forest fires are humongous, with a large number of residents getting displaced from their homes. The US government has also declared a national emergency in the northern part of California.
But what is causing this rampant outbreak of wildfires in California? Recent research has shown that the primary reason for wildfire outbreaks in the western United States, especially in California, is global warming. The past five years have been recorded as the hottest, and the state recently recovered from a six-year drought which took a toll on the West Coast forests. Apart from this, lack of rainfall, decreased groundwater levels and growing epidemic of migrating bark beetles have increased the tree deaths which acts as an explosive fuel when wildfires start.
California’s population also grew enormously in the past one decade which only worsened the conditions. The increased number of power lines owned by the state’s largest utility companies made the state even more susceptible to such fire outbreaks. Strong winds causing snapping of poles or tearing down of lines sets the dry grass ablaze, when a live wire falls on it.
Increased temperature is the primary reason for the outbreak of wildfires in California
Experts are of the opinion that the rising temperature is making the fires spread over larger areas, making them more volatile and much more difficult to control. In the last decade, the average temperature of California has increased significantly, which has lead to the drying of the land. Heat waves have become extremely common and often stretch over a few weeks at a time.
The drought has dried the vegetation, providing the flammable material. So a stray matchstick, a cigarette, a campfire, or a bolt of lightning can soon turn into a raging inferno. Over the past couple of decades, the wildfire season has become prolonged, and in the current year, it has extended throughout the year. The recent eruptions occurring right now in the month of November was unheard of previously.
Wildfires are vicious cycles
This recent trend is a matter of great concern. The upward scale of global warming due to the emission of greenhouse gases has increased the evaporation of atmospheric moisture, making the area arid. The snow nowadays thaws rapidly. Thus, the soil has become dry too. So, the hotter and drier climatic conditions on the western US states have made it more susceptible to the outbreak of ravaging wildfires.
A direct effect of wildfires is the loss of vegetation, which leads to an increase in Carbon dioxide emission. Thus, it is a vicious cycle. Pests have become rampant which has a direct link to rising temperature and forest fires. Therefore, it can be said that climate changes are the chief reason behind the wildfires. Entire vegetations are getting wiped out, and the ecosystem is facing adverse effects.
California Trial Attorneys are here to help you
The death toll has risen with a vast number of people displaced from their homes. The financial loss, excluding the fire suppression cost, is insurmountable. Wildfires have a massive impact on human population due to the loss of life, property, and infrastructure. With the loss of business, employment, home, and loved ones, people have to pay a hefty price. California Trial Attorneys understand the plight of the people displaced in the wildfires and are extremely compassionate towards our clients. We negotiate with the insurance company who often refuse to pay for damages citing various reasons. We are aware of the ploys that can be undertaken to deny payment or to pay a much lesser amount.
California Trial Attorneys has experienced attorneys who will fight relentlessly to get you through this tough time. Money cannot replace what you have lost, but will help you start afresh.
- November 12, 2018