Severna Park MD, October 18th, 2019
The fires in California have only become larger and more frequent. Recently, fires have broken out near Los Angeles. Specifically, the fires have burned 4,700 acres in 11 hours. The Fire Department says that the fires spread so quickly because of low humidity, high winds, and there was a large amount of dry brush that could fuel the fire. So far, 25 homes have been damaged, and one man died from cardiac arrest. 1,100 firefighters are currently on the scene trying to stop the fire from spreading. The Firefighters are fighting the “Santa Ana winds”, which are strong winds that blow from the north part of the state to the south. The National Weather Service recorded 46 mph winds last Thursday. The Fire Department suspects an electrical malfunction caused the fire, but they are not sure if that is the true flashpoint.
California has had a history of wildfires in the past. Wildfires are very common in California for many reasons. There are three main things that cause a wildfire to spread. The main causes are: humidity, fuel, and wind. Typically in california the humidity is very low, so brush is very dry and is easier to ignite. This is also the fuel of the fire. The amount of brush in areas will affect how quickly the fire will spread. When more plants burn, there will be more hot embers that will continue to burn more brush. Then there is the wind. The strength of the wind will affect how quickly the fire spreads. If there is stronger wind, then the embers will move and set more plants on fire. There are many easy ways to prevent, and slow these fires that Firefighters use to stop them.
Firefighters use multiple techniques to slow and stop the fires from continuing. Firefighters create firebreaks which are large deforested barriers that are made to remove all of the vegetation so the fire cannot continue. They also use planes and helicopters to deposit fire retardant and water in areas to create a barrier in places where they cannot make a firebreak.