Wildfires continue to blaze during historic season

Photo by Austin Romito

Families have been affected by fires up and down the state of California. The most prominent wildfire near the California Baptist University community was the Holy Fire, which started Aug. 6

The fire began in Holy Jim Canyon and Trabuco Canyon, and it then spread throughout the mountain cities in the Inland Empire.

Forrest Gordon Clark, 51-year-old Holy Jim Canyon resident, allegedly started the fire near a cabin he owned in the forest.

The fire is projected to be contained by Sept. 30 with a containment of 98 percent as of Sept. 12 according to Kevin Ferris, Information Receptionist for the Trabuco Ranger District.

The fire burned across 23,136 acres and affected many students at CBU.

Jessica Sanchez, sophomore business entrepreneurship and early childhood studies double major, said the Holy Fire worried her family and her community. The fire was right across from her home, which caused the environment around her house to be smokey.

“Outside it was really dark and sometimes it even looked sort of purple outside,” Sanchez said. “I had close friends that lived closer to the fire than me and they had to evacuate. We were all kind of worried.”

The fire had a dramatic affect on the families because of the fast decisions they had to make.

Sanchez said it was difficult to think about what she would have to bring along with her during an evacuation.

“It made me feel really nervous just because I was not ready to leave my home,” Sanchez said. “It’s a really scary feeling knowing that your home could either be burned down and everything can just be gone. Or you could just drop and go.”

The fire not only affected families but wildlife that lived in the mountains, as well. Animals had to relocate and find temporary homes.

Nicholas Nava, freshman history major, said he was not as worried about the fires because there are always frequent fires in the Inland Empire.

“The fire affected the temperature in an already dry and hot region,” Nava said. “It dispersed wildlife and caused dangerous animals to move down and search for food among the local pets. It discouraged kids from going outdoors and occasionally playing sports.”

This fire season has been record-breaking within the state of California. The Mendocino fire was the largest in state history.

“This year we have seen not only the largest wildfire in California history but the largest wildfire for 2018 across the United States,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE in a press release.

While most of these fires are contained, some are still blazing, such as the Hirz Fire with 97 percent containment and Valley Fire with 82 percent containment as of Sept. 12.

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