Like most of the incidents happening this year, California fires too broke the state record. So far, the devastating wildfires have burnt 2 million hectares, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday.
The state department started tracking the span of land that comes under the state’s annual wildfires since 1987. In 2018, the state broke the records after 1.96m acres (793,184 hectares) of burnt land was recorded.
But what is concerning to the state fire department is the span of time this year’s fire took to break the record.
“It’s a little unnerving because September and October are historically our worst months for fires,” a spokeswoman for Cal Fire Lynne Tolmachoff said.
But apparently, the record is already set ahead of the typically worst season. Over the last few weeks, evacuation orders were expanded to depopulate highland communities as the largest blaze Creek Fire churns through the Sierra National Forest.
The Creek Fire, as of Monday, was 0 percent contained, Al Jazeera reported, despite more than 800 firefighters are on the scene, trying to tame the blaze in sweltering conditions for the last three days.
The extent of the damage is yet to be assessed, as up until now, only 79,000 acres (32,000 hectares) of land is under investigation and the cause of the fire is clear, which reflects only a fraction of the total area on the blaze this year.
As of Monday, 14,800 firefighters were battling 23 major blazes across the states as it faces a record-setting heatwave. California has the highest population of any US state.
Amid heightening tensions, a couple’s ‘gender reveal’ party in Los Angeles invoked a wildfire after the device used to reveal the baby’s gender inflamed dry vegetation in a field.
As per the Associated Press, after the celebrating family went into a field and fired the device, it quickly ignited the 1.3 meters, or 4 foot long grasses, Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
The fire was further provoked by triple-digit temperatures, a stiff breeze, low humidity, and dry vegetation, and the family’s trial to extinguish the fire was futile.
“You can’t fight a fire like this with a water bottle. They had no chance after it started,” Milloy said referring to the family who recorded the incident as evidence. Later the fires went on to an extent where peoples in the region had to flee after thousands of acres were charred.
With the threat of fire endangering daily life for hundreds of thousands, the persistent temperatures have also strained the state’s power grid.
The California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s electric usage, said there are chances of blackout and millions could be bereft of electricity if usage is not regulated.
“California has always been the canary in the coal mine for climate change, and this weekend’s events only underscore that reality,” said Governor Newsom in a press release on September 6th.
“Wildfires have caused system failures, while near-record energy demand is predicted as a multi-state heatwave hits the West Coast for the second time in a matter of weeks.“