California Is Facing Another Wave of Devastating Wildfires — Here's How You Can Help
Update: Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area awoke to ominous orange skies on Sept. 9 as a result of heavy winds that have swept across the state, spreading fires and contributing to unhealthy air quality across several regions. The winds have resulted in numerous new fires across the state, resulting in over 3,700 structures destroyed, eight fatalities, and thousands more displaced from their homes since the fires first began in August. In 2020 alone, wildfires have consumed 2.5 million acres of land across California, leaving residents uncertain about their safety and well-being, according to Cal Fire officials. If you have the means, consider helping by providing the resources outlined ahead for those in need.
Original Post: In the span of a week, California has been ravaged by three major fire complexes — groups of fires caused by lightning — scattered across the state's northern and central regions. Critical wildfire zones include the LNU Lightning Complex in the northeast Bay Area, the SCU Lightning Complex in the eastern and southeastern Bay Area, and the CZU Lightning Complex in the western and southern Bay Area. The SCU Lightning Complex and LNU Lightning Complex are among the three largest wildfires in California's recorded history. Since the lightning siege first began on Aug. 15, there have been nearly 12,000 lightning strikes that have sparked over 615 new wildfires, which have scorched over 1.3 million acres of land combined — including vital crops and farmland — according to Cal Fire officials.
In total, the fires have wreaked havoc on the equivalent of five New York Cities in land acreage and have taken the lives of at least five people. In the midst of a heatwave, California's unforeseen dry lightning spells now threaten more than 10 million people across the state who are under red-flag warnings brought on by a combination of "warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger," according to the National Weather Service. Even as thousands of firefighters put themselves on the front lines to battle the raging flames, thousands continue to be displaced from their homes. Read on to find out what you can do right now to support victims of the California wildfires.