Essay On California Forest Fire

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California has one of the most severe wildland fire problems in the world. Population, vegetation, topography, and climate all play key roles in the probability of a wildfire occurring. In other words, it’s not a matter of “if” a wildfire will occur, but it’s a matter of “when.” In California, more and more people are choosing to live in communities near wildlands. These wildlands are composed of highly flammable vegetation which can be explosive. The topography of California is very diverse, consisting of slopes, canyons, and valleys. As we know, heat rises which allows a fire that may start below a slope to travel quickly to the top. Climate or weather patterns play a significant role as well, such as high temperature, relative humidity, …show more content…

Thirty years after FIRESCOPE was developed, California endured the worst wildfire in history. In 2003, the Cedar Fire burned in San Diego County for weeks, burned 273,246 acres, destroyed 2,820 structures, and killed 14 people, including one firefighter (Cal Fire, n.d.). The Cedar Fire started later in the day, inhibiting aircraft from making water and fire retardant drops. Temperatures remained high and humidity low during the evening. Santa Anna winds continued to blow fiercely throughout the night, though they typically die down during the evening. The Cedar Fire was not the only fire burning, there were several other fires burning in California, limiting resources to San Diego County (CDF, 2004). The size of the fire crossed city and county jurisdictions requiring a multiple agency response, but coordination and communication was difficult due agencies not being fully equipped to response amongst each other (CDF, 2004). The fire not only raged through the wildlands of San Diego County, but destroyed planned communities and businesses, closed freeways, suspended flights, and even cancelled Monday Night Football (which was to be held at Qualcomm Stadium), since the stadium was being used as the main evacuation center (Dillion, 2003). The Cedar Fire was the worst case scenario, but many lessons were

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