Wildfires are one of the most detrimental events that can occur in a dry area of woodland or bush. When uncontrolled, communities can be destroyed, land burnt to a crisp and often people’s lives are taken. They can destroy entire ecosystems, both for animals and plant life. There is often no warning when a fire gets out of control, and many are unprepared; the states of California, Oregon, and Whashington are currently being devastated by wildfires, both in their land and air quality. In the past week, the community of Big Creek, California, is picking up the pieces of such a tragedy.
The raging wildfire, now dubbed the Creek fire, is having tremendous effects on the locals and tourists in the beloved little town in the Sierra Nevada. Eyewitness reports claim that there are at least two dozen homes that were burned to the ground in the wake of all of the destruction that has occurred. But the fire also caused a chain of chaotic events, according to the chief of Big Creek’s fire department, which states that there were propane tank explosions in the midst of it all which caused even more danger and wreckage.
The danger of this event extends past the permanent residence of Big Creek, however. The Sierra Nevada region is a hotspot for tourism, hiking, camping, etc., and the town of Big Creek receives quite a lot of business from this. The travelers who frequent this little town are devastated by what has happened and the ones who were there or in the surrounding region at the time were not exempt from any of the danger. There are reports over 200 hikers and campers, more than the entire population of Big Creek, were trapped by the wildfire.
That is just in the recreation area known as Mammoth Pool alone. The National Guard had to perform an incredibly extensive rescue effort of this region when the Creek fire made its way across the San Joaquin River. Governor Newsom was forced to take action and declare a state of emergency for all regions in the path of the fire. Terrifying reports have surfaced from individuals who were forced to drive in the midst of the roaring flames in order to survive, and later seek shelter if it was available.
Not everyone, however, has been so fortunate. Two individuals have been reported to be suffering from life threatening injuries as a result of the wildfires. Several others have received medical attention for wounds, burns and other injuries., but fortunately these injuries are not fatal. Healthcare workers have done everything in their power to make young children a priority as well as those with underlying health conditions in this situation. Some were trapped by the fire on the water itself because of how quickly it spread.
The fight against the Big Creek fire and wildfires is not over, and unfortunately in our planet’s current state, the possibility of these fires in areas with dry climates is a looming possibility at all times, and the people of Big Creek and the surrounding area know this. While the communities of California have come together to support those affected by the wildfires leading to swift rescue efforts, wildfires continue to devastate communities and ecosystems in the Northwest. The best measures to be taken to prepare are conservation efforts to eliminate unnecessary brush, updated water systems, etc The Creek fire has cost hundreds of people homes and livelihoods, and this is only one of many examples of the effects of wildfires in the area that are continuing to burn as we speak. Without proper resource allocation and attention to the environment, they will only continue to grow.