Northern California Wildfires Ravage Communities


Courtesy of

Flames ravage a home in the Napa wine region in California, Oct. 9, 2017.

Nevaeh Valtierra, Feature's Editor

This year has brought along some serious tragedies.

So many people in the U.S. and around the world have been extensively affected by them. People are losing their belongings, homes, and their lives to these natural disasters. The fires in Northern California are one of many natural disasters that are affecting thousands of people.

A series of wildfires started in Northern California the night of Oct. 8. The fires killed at least 43 people and hospitalized at least 185 people. During the wildfires, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency evacuation for the Northern California counties of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, and Mendocino. The fires forced 90,000 people to evacuate and they destroyed about 8,900 homes and other buildings. Thousands of firefighters battled fires that burned simultaneously. These fires constitute the largest loss of life due to wildfires in the United States since the Northern Minnesota Cloquet Fire in 1918. The cause of this fire is still being investigated by officials.

The governor’s office and affected counties determined that $7.4 billion is needed to help California recover. Since so many agriculture industries were affected a third of the requested funding would go towards helping those industries bounce back.

Last month Congress approved $576.5 million in aid. Donald Trump also pledged aid for fire victims on Oct. 10, saying that he told Brown, “The federal government will stand with the people of California.” Brown asked the California Department of Finance to put $41.5 million towards supporting the immediate needs of victims not eligible for federal aid. Even California’s two public university systems are giving students affected by the recent wildfires an extra two weeks to submit their admissions applications and waiving some application fees for them.

According to most recent data from Nov. 6, there are three new large fires, there is a total of two active fires in California and Washington, and there has been one fire contained.