Disaster strikes as wildfires spread across California. A staggering total of 7,980 fires have broken out over the panicked state. 1,046,995 have been burnt, and 6,000 buildings have been reduced to naught but cinders. Tragically 40 people have perished because of the hellish fires. The most sickening fact is that all that remained of the poor people is ash and bones salvaged from the wreck of their blazing homes. One fact that benefitted the spreading of the fire greatly is that there were extremely high winds and dry weather.

The emergency services attempted to rectify the situation by sending as many fire crews and helicopters as they could muster to protect Southern California from having the destructive flames descend upon them. However the entire state has not fared quite as well as over 100,000 people have been forced to leave their homes for fear of their very lives.

Whilst the worst may be over, Californian officials have stated that, the fires are unlikely to be put out very soon due to the fact that the wind speeds are 20mph with devastating gusts of 40mph. One particular winery owner stated that they “went to hell last night” after being asked about the harrowing effects of the dreaded flames. The governor of California Jerry brown announced that “This is truly one of the greatest tragedies that California has ever faced” he followed this poignant statement with “The devastation is just unbelievable. It is a horror that no one could have imagined.”

I for one do not think he is wrong, all in all 17 large fires are still burning across the northern part of the state and 9,000 fire-fighters accompanied by 1,000 fire engines have done there absolute best to hold the deathly tongues of fire at bay. It is because of these brave men and women that the death toll is as low as it is. Their courageous acts have saved the lives of countless civilians. I personally am humbled by the extreme exertion these seemingly fearless fire fighters had to put them self through to do their part in protecting their state from the  hellish flames that beset it.

Edward Burke (Y11)