High temperatures, dry weather, and ravaging winds have originated the Blue Cut fire, one of the greatest fires to ever occur in the southern region of California, causing over 82,000 evacuations.
The fire forced a statewide call for firefighting authorities as the Blue Cut fire crept along San Bernardino County, just over 60 miles away from Los Angeles.
So far, there have been no reports of injuries or casualties other than two injured firefighters that were hurt while trying to help people evacuate from the massive forest fire.
Wildfires turning homes and forests into ashes
Wrightwood, one of the nearby neighborhoods, was besieged by the Blue Cut fire. On Wednesday, Wrightwood residents were on the look as they waited for firefighters to drop fire retardant on the flames, but the fire just kept on spreading and the wind started to rally it from one place to another. Many residents complained that there were not enough helicopters fighting the flames, which were able to reach many homes and turn them into ashes.
“Everybody says just leave, but it’s not that easy. It’s not easy to leave a 16-year home and a life,” stated 55-year-old Dana Cruzan, who was stricken that her home would most assuredly be engulfed by flames, as it was surrounded by Pinyon trees, dubbed by firefighters as “fireballs.”
Residents oftentimes prefer to stay as long as possible before having to evacuate. But even if firefighters make everything on their reach to fight the flames, if a home is surrounded by vegetation it is very likely that it will eventually catch fire.
The forecast: Wildfires will be more common
The combination of reduced rains, higher temperatures, and prolific and dry vegetation are the main reason why forest fires have become so increasingly common over the past few years.
“Fires will continue to happen and get worse and worse,” stated Don Wuebbles, author of a federal report explaining how climate change affects the weather and the offspring of wildfires.
He claims that the number of wildfires has doubled throughout the last 40 years, and will most likely double up again in the next 30 years.
The emergence of the Blue Cut fire forced authorities to close I-15 and segments of the 215 Freeway in San Bernardino. There is no indication as to when I-15 will open again. It has been reported that over 5 thousand commercial trucks have to drive along the Cajon Pass, which is in the proximity of the fire. Trucks were forced to take alternate routes, adding several miles to their paths, resulting in the late arrival of refrigerated products.
According to experts, forests are able to adapt to the fires but not to climate change. People also keep on moving to areas that are in close proximity to wildlands. The smallest amount of fuel joined with the ideal climate conditions, dry vegetation, and strong winds can often be highlighted as the main cause of the recent wildfires that have forced thousands of homes.
“Basically half of the U.S. Forest Service’s budget goes into firefighting,” stated Lloyd Burton to National Geographic, from the University of Denver.
Source: LA Times