Some of you may have heard about the fire that is destroying one of the most beautiful areas in California; a fire that has taken the life of one destroyed 57 homes, caused hundreds to evacuate, and is still not fully controlled. Luckily the amazing firefighters working to contain this have made great progress as of 8:00am on Saturday, August 6th; the fire has consumed 55,600 acres and is at 40% containment. I'm not here to give you the update on the status of the fire--if you are interested in the current status of the fire check here for the latest from Cal Fire. I'm here to voice my sadness and my outrage at the news that was released regarding this fire earlier this week. This fire that has taken away the homes of 57 families, that caused the death of one man trying to stop the fire, and that has affected the lives of thousands in the area was all caused by an illegal campfire. This news angered so many in the area as well as myself and caused us to ask how could someone be so careless.
For those of you who have never been; this is what the Soberanes Point in Big Sur, California looked like before this fire began. Because this is such a beautiful area the entire economy is based on tourism, with many businesses relying on the busy summer tourist season. According to Kirk Gaffill the president of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce as well as the General Manager at one of the most popular restaurants in Big Sur; "For Big Sur, tourism is the industry, there is no second industry. And summer is peak season, so to have a fire at this particular time is really impactful." He states that "We've seen business drop about 35 to 50 percent on any given day." The article on KAZU goes on to discuss just how badly this fire is impacting the economy of the area, stating that "The Soberanes Fire marks the third destructive wildfire since 2008, and the damage is adding up." However, the damage of this fire goes much further than the economy in the area.
This photo shows firefighters from all across California coming together to fight this massive wildfire that is devastating the lives of so many. One amazing thing that has come from this is how the community can pull together as a whole to try to help in any way they can. As I've been following the news of the fire I continually was finding myself asking how this could happen. The answer is someone (a tourist, a local, nobody knows yet) decided that they were going to have an illegal bonfire in one of the most beautiful places in California. Maybe it seemed harmless at the time but clearly, it has caused more harm than one could possibly imagine. When will people stop being so selfish and naive that they will start thinking about the consequences of their actions?
This fire that has caused so much devastation is all because someone decided that them having an illegal campfire was okay. Maybe they didn't think about the consequences but they really should have because now it's too late. Because they had a campfire a 35 year old man named Robert Oliver Reagan III lost his life. He left behind a wife and two young children; children who will not have their dad around for the rest of their lives because someone decided to have a campfire. When they grow up and ask their mom where their dad is she will have to tell him that he lost his life trying to stop a fire that started because someone had a campfire. Someone decided that them having a campfire one night was more important than those two girls growing up with a father. The fire is still burning but at this time it has destroyed 57 homes. 57 families lost their home and everything they had because someone decided to have a campfire.
Because someone decided to have a campfire hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes and forced to find somewhere else to live until this fire is under control. Thousands of firefighters from across California have been working day and night trying to save the beautiful area so many call home all because someone decided to have a campfire. Because someone decided to have a campfire the air quality of where thousands of people live has been deemed unsafe. Because someone decided to have a campfire the economy of the area will significantly drop likely causing some family businesses to go into debt or close. Because someone decided to have a campfire where they knew it was illegal to, hundreds of thousands of people will suffer the consequences of someone else's actions. One of the most beautiful placed in California has been destroyed because someone decided to have a campfire. When you make the decision to have an illegal campfire it affects so many more people than yourself. The decision of a few deciding to have a campfire has devastated thousands. Eventually, the area will recover, but the damage done here is permanent. I am so thankful for all the amazing selfless firefighters out there right now fighting to save a place so many of us love and call home. I just hope that the person or people who started this realize what an impact them deciding to have a campfire had.