The Loyolan would like to wish our University community a happy Halloween! As we celebrate Halloween this week, we must also consider the real horrors we are currently facing in California.
The state of California has declared a state of emergency, as reported by the New York Times. As fires continue to affect millions of residents in both Northern and Southern California, we must be asking why California is facing such fires time and time again.
Despite the efforts our communities put into supporting and rebuilding communities affected by the fires, we are simply not prepared for the reality of our current climate crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated their homes as heavy winds have spread fires. To further prevent power lines from sparking new fires, millions have had their electricity shut off, beginning in early October, as reported by the L.A. Times.
The fires will not be stopping anytime soon, with some of them, including the Sonoma County fires, setting off spot fires due to heavy winds. Nearly 200,000 people had to be evacuated over the weekend in Sonoma County, according to The Press Democrat.
Closer to home at LMU, a 656-acre fire broke out at the Getty Center along the 405 Freeway, with only 5% of it contained as of Tuesday morning, as reported by the L.A. Times. And it is not over. Strong winds from Santa Ana are expected to reach Southern California by Tuesday night, with wind speeds up to 80 mph in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains, according to the L.A. Times.
Facts and statistics relating to the fires continue to shock and surprise us. But why? California has faced a series of wildfires in recent years, and despite the outrage in the past, all of us continue to be taken by surprise each time there is a new fire.
The evacuation of Sonoma County in Northern California was believed to be one of the largest evacuations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The county already faced intensive wildfire two years ago.
Here is where the problem arises. Fires in California occur, making us outraged, ready to act. However, once the danger has subsided, everyone goes back to normal everyday life. However, fires such as these are a reminder of the permanent change in Californian weather. This is unfortunately the new normal in our beautiful Golden State and all of us need to be paying more attention to what this means for our planet as a whole as we face threats of global warming.
As the Loyolan continues to report on the California fires, we send well wishes to all those in the LMU community affected by them. For those affected by the Getty fire, evacuation centers include the Westwood Recreation Center and the Palisades Recreation Center, according to the L.A. Times.