1. What the situation is
There are three major wildfires currently spreading across the state of California. Named Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire, and Hill Fire, the three fires together have created mass destruction and devastation since the 8th of November. While first responders try to contain this natural disaster, citizens have been forced to flee their homes; leaving their things, and often their entire lives behind.
2. How dangerous the fires are
Camp Fire, which exists in Northern California, specifically Butte County, has been deemed the worst wildfire in the state's history. The death toll from all three fires has risen to 50, with numerous more missing or injured. The danger of the fires surrounds the fact that the fires are so difficult to contain. With 18% of California currently experiencing drought, the land is dry and vulnerable. The heavy winds in the state cause the flames to spread quickly, often too fast for first responders to keep up. Additionally, the rough terrain in the state, such as canyons and hillsides, act as breeding grounds for fires, but are often unsafe for onground firefighters.
3. How much land the fires cover
Separate from one another, Camp Fire covers 135,000 acres, Woolsey Fire covers 97,620 acres, and Hill Fire covers 4,531 acres. Together, this makes the span of the fires 237,151 acres, or according to NBC News, the size of 16 Manhattans.
4. Who and what have been affected
Homes, families, and first responders have all been greatly affected. According to CBS News, around 52,000 have been evacuated, and around 7,600 homes have been destroyed. The amount of first responders rounds to about 5,615 active members of local fire departments currently fighting the fires. While those who have fled to shelters seek safety, the reality of them returning to their homes in one piece is highly unlikely. For many the flames have destroyed everything they have worked for, and they will likely face immense hardship and reconstruction for years to come.
5. How you can help
Numerous organizations have dedicated their websites to being a place for relief funds for both families affected by the fires and first responders. For more information or to donate, visit one of these websites to show your support for those in need at this time.
Entertainment Industry Foundation - created by celebrities to help fund firefighters and other first responders battling the flames.