While most people are worried about hurricane Irma and Harvey, trying to repair the damaged caused, the west is dealing with heat and dry weather, which has led to numerous fires burning. The wildfire season this year was predicted to be the most tame. But it is becoming one of the worst in U.S. history. These fires have impacted California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho.
Combined, there are more than 82 wildfires burning across 1.5 million acres. There has been a state of emergency announced in three counties in Northern California. The fires have destroyed more than 500 houses, and the U.S. Forest Service has spent $1.75 billion to fight the fires. In Montana, the largest fire is the Rice Ridge fire which has burned about 100,000 acres. Also, in California outside of Burbank, the La Tuna fire has burned at least 7,000 acres and has been the largest recorded wildfire near Los Angeles and the largest brush fire recorded in history in Los Angeles. The blazes in Oregon have forced more than 4,500 people to evacuate their homes. In Colorado near Breckenridge, there is more than 2 million dollars in damage and with first responders on call for days and in some cases, even weeks. With all the smoke in the air, school games were canceled and children and teens were told to tend to indoor activities.
This is a serious issue that is not receiving a lot of attention due to the hurricanes. Natural disasters are occurring all around us. These fires are causing havoc and leaving destruction in their wake. The fires are destroying not only the homes of people, but the ecosystems that support wildlife. The people affected by this need help. Please contact the Red Cross if you would like to find ways to help or donate blood.