This California fire season looks like one of the most catastrophic in recent years. The assessment comes from climate researchers who described the devastation as a "fiery wake-up call for climate science".
So far a staggering 1.7 million acres have been burned to a crisp. An area five times the size of the city of Los Angeles. Over 15,000 firefighters have been battling the blazes that sparked in a few locations. From the Santa Cruz Mountains to Riverside County, the slopes of Mount Hamilton to Napa Valley, and the northern Sierra. After a dry winter and no rain forecasted until November, fire crews are bracing for more fires.
After a drier than usual winter and almost no rainfall since April, California's forests, shrubs and wild grass are dry and burn quickly.
Experts are warning: This year is particularly dry, and the worst could still be to come.
In a recent press conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom remarked: "These fires are historic because they are on pace and setting the pace of a historic fire season". This month, the state has seen some of the biggest fires in over a century. While California's wildlife is generally adapted to deal with fires, the effects will be felt in the next months and even years as local communities both human and animal, struggle to rebuild.
California's wildlife will bounce back, but it's up to us to help it in its hour of need. With fires still raging, local organizations and communities will be hard at work restoring what was lost. We can all make a difference and contribute to the restoration efforts.