California’s cost of climate change is over $19 billion

Eric Garcia, Reporter

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California wildfire crews worked tirelessly for weeks in order to control the recent wildfires that displaced thousands in the state.

The Woolsey and Camp Fires are two of the deadliest fires that California has ever had.  The Camp Fire has claimed 88 lives and hundreds more are unaccounted for according to CNN.  The fires raged on for more than 2 weeks, completely destroying everything in their path.

The Camp fire has burned over 150,000 acres.  Meanwhile the Woolsey’s fire has an estimated cost of damage at $5 billion dollars.  If the total acreage of land burned in California between in the last 5 years was added up, it would be up to 5.4 million acres.  And many of the same areas get hit multiple times.

After the president called out the California forest management, he threatened to take away billions of dollars from the state forest management. Contrary to his statement, more federal land has been burnt says Governor Jerry Brown.  Maria Gonzalez (10), who recently moved to Skyline from California, said this could be prevented if “people put out their cigarettes.” She then explained that any spark can cause the brush to catch on fire.

Many experts have concluded that climate change has caused brush and trees to dry out, which makes it more susceptible catch on fire.  Perla Juarez (10),  who came moved from California over the summer, agrees that the heat and the dry air doesn’t really help these fires do less damage to the land and the people.

Many of the affected communities were faced with the problem of leaving their houses and possibly seeing their homes for the very last time.  Gonzalez, who lived in the areas surrounding these fires said that during the fires, some people were only “told to put on masks.” The community of Thousand Oaks was faced with a mass shooting and having to evacuate from the Woolsey Fire the very next day.  Juarez said that it is “traumatizing” given that most people who were affected have to deal with so much and on top of that had to evacuate or stay indoors.

CoreLogic estimates say that in real estate damage costs, both fires have contributed up to an estimated $19 billion in damage.

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