In the tragedy that California is going through, the images speak for themselves. Burnt houses and charred cars, evacuees, firefighters and ravaged forests : California is currently experiencing its worst nightmare. At the time of writing, the fires are far from being under control and new fire starts are noted. As in 2018, California must again face a resurgence of fires.
A state ravaged by flames
In California, state of the American West, some cities are nothing but desolation. And this is reminiscent of the fires of 2018 that had 88 dead and ravaged over 4000 km². The fires had also completely destroyed some cities, including the municipality of Paradise, which had more than 26,000 inhabitants. This year, California is once again in flames. First in October with the Saddleridge Fire, which north of Los Angeles burned over 3000 hectares and forced the evacuation of thousands of people. Only a month later, violent fires broke out and towns in the Sonoma wine region were threatened by Kincade Fire. The state of emergency is declared and the inhabitants are ordered to leave their homes, ie nearly 180,000 people. Forest fires are all the more important as they are carried by gusts of wind (between 65 and 100 km/h).
In Santa Rosa, the seat of Sonoma County, the flames took away almost everything : 26,000 hectares, hundreds of buildings, houses and vineyards. The city was just recovering from the 2017 fire that killed 22 people in Santa Rosa. Since then, California has been experiencing ever longer and deadly fires. At issue : global warming, increased drought, a lack of recurrent water, the development of real estate in high-risk areas and the multiplication of dead wood that accelerates the speed of spread of flames.
In the face of the fires, a cruel lack of means
Firefighters may be hard at work to control fires, California faces a cruel lack of resources. Despite California’s California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire), the state lacks airplanes, helicopters, and even pilots. California is therefore forced to strengthen the CalFire fleet with other aircraft from Canadian companies and private companies. Remember that California is the only US state to have such an anti-fire fleet. If she can not tame the flames, which other state could do it ?
In America, Europe and the rest of the world, there is a shortage of resources for forest fires. This is why the OMPE has long called for stronger fire fighting and the deployment of a more modern system : the UFFFES (Ultra Fast Forest Fire Extinguishing System). With this solution, we will finally have the means to fight effectively against forest fires !