Gigantic fires ravage California!
As every year, the approach of autumn in California results in the outbreak of gigantic fires. San Francisco Bay is immersed in a supernatural and suffocating atmosphere. 2020 is already a record year in terms of area devastated when fires ravage California.
As fall approaches, fires are recurrent in California. Currently, nearly thirty fires are active, scattered from north to south of the state of California. Since the beginning of September 2020, they have already devastated more than 100,000 hectares of vegetation.
Up to 19,000 firefighters have been mobilized from northern to southern California in an attempt to control active fires and quickly put an end to the dozens of starting fires that occur every day! An outbreak of fire which is not brought under control quickly becomes a major uncontrollable fire, when fires ravage California.
In the Bay of San Francisco, the fires are so harsh, that the sky is tinged with orange and suffocates the inhabitants.
An immediate consequence when fires ravage California is that the air quality deteriorated markedly at the beginning of September 2020, with levels of fine particles (PM2.5) exceeding 160 µg / m3 in San Francisco while the limit values recommended by the WHO are 25 µg / m3.
If the wind eases over much of the state, sunny, dry weather will persist for at least 10 days. Residents have been told to stay at home when fires ravage California.
Scientists from the Copernicus Service for Atmospheric Monitoring (CAMS) of ECMWF detected large amounts of smoke that affected large areas of North America until it reached northern Europe making the sky milky, hazy, 8,000 km from homes! This results in an atmosphere loaded with aerosols and carbon monoxide.
Since the start of 2020 – 8,400, fires have burned more than 1.6 million hectares of vegetation in California, which is more than the area of Île de France (12,000 km²).
They also killed 31 people and destroyed 9,200 buildings.
While 2018 had already broken records in terms of the number of victims, the year 2020 is a record year for two reasons: in terms of the area ravaged when fires ravage California and for the gigantic size of the fires: 6 of the 20 largest wildfires in California history occurred in 2020.
The largest fire in California history, known as the “August Complex”, began on August 17, 2020. It has been 100 days since a single drop of rain fell in the forest region National Mendocino, when a violent (dry) storm accompanied by intense electrical activity generated thousands of lightning strikes: 37 ignited the vegetation and started fires. These eventually spread and joined in a colossal fire, which has already burned more than 300,000 hectares and which still continues.
The presence of high winds, known as Santa Ana in the south and Diablo in the north, help spread the fires. These winds originate in the deserts, in particular that of the Mojaves, a large desert area of approximately 40,000 km².
Persistent drought reinforced by climate change and inadequate land use are the main cause when fires ravage California!