Will California Continue it’s Pattern of Annual Fires?

By: Vivian Kringle

Taboose fire
Firefighters working on the Taboose Fire in the Inyo National Forest

As September is ending and October begins, it marks the annual time of the year for California to burn itself to the ground. Many fires have occurred at the beginning of September, burning throughout the month. The California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection states that this year there have been 204 separate wildfires spreading several acres already.

One of the larger fires was the Taboose Fire in Inyo County (Inyo National Forest) starting September 4th and burning for the majority of the month. This fire burned over 10,000 acres, forcing the closure of recreational trails and stranding hikers that had to get evacuated through the use of helicopters.

Further fires took place along the Inyo National Forest such as the Spring Fire which started late July and burned through the end of September. Taking place 13 miles away from the town of Lee Vining, California. This fire was caused by lightning which broke out into a fire after burning timber and brush soon getting out of control burning over 4,000 acres.

Another fire this year was the Cow Fire burning around the same time as the Spring fire also caused by lighting. The Cow Fire started in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest, this fire was estimated to end October 11th.

The Walker Fire ending September 25th and beginning September 5th burned over 54,000 acres in Plumas County causing the national forest to be temporarily closed down until the fire was contained. It was reported to be the largest fire in California so far this year. 

On September 25th, a fire broke out in the Mare Island Preserve. The fire started by a series of power lines getting cut down. Kevin Brown, the Vallejo Fire Department spokesperson said “There were power poles, utility poles, that were cut down that caused the lines to come down which sparked the fire,”. Kevin Brown is further investigating saying that he believes the poles were cut purposely. Suspects have  said it was from copper thieves which Brown noted that people cutting lines in order to get copper wire is fairly common saying “there’s been an abundance of copper thefts here on the island because so many portions of this island are not monitored with abandoned buildings,”. The true intent of the crime is still being investigated.   

A surprising amount of acres burned through the Inyo National Forest, so far this year along with other parts of North and South California as October starts and climate change continues it is very possible for more fires to take place this year following the patterns of the past two years which hold a place as some of the worst fires that have ever taken place in California. 

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