California has hit the headlines yet again with another round of huge wildfires. Iconic areas such as Malibu have been lit up with flames, homes and treasured possessions destroyed, as residents face the dilemma of abandoning their beautiful residences or staying to try to protect and divert the fires from destroying all in their wake. Sadly, some people have lost their lives in the battle against the elements. But the fires rage on, and even small smoulders have started the whole misery again and again. Firefighters have had their numbers swelled by prison inmates, volunteering to assist in the relentless battle against the fires.
But this is nothing new in California. The weather in a typical Californian spring, summer and autumn is hot, arid and windy and there is plenty of parched vegetation – perfect conditions for even a tiny spark to mean devastation. Statistics show that wildfires are a regular occurrence, with over 9,000 fires reported in 2017 and 1,300,000 acres of land affected. But it does seem that California is getting warmer and some think this may be to do with climate change.
Wildfires are only part of the story in California. Earthquakes, floods, and landslides have hit the area hard over the years and destroyed beautiful homes in their wake. Images of devastation fill the newspapers as history seems to repeat itself in this American state of dreams and famous places – Hollywood, LA, Disneyland, Silicon Valley, Malibu, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite; surely every time the dream house gets built there must be the anxiety that someday the whole lot will come crashing down for one reason or another.
But despite all this, California remains one of the most sought-after areas to live in the USA with opulent properties in demand for tens of millions of dollars and many stars of stage and screen making the Golden state their home. So, will this latest spate of wildfires be the end of the Californian Dream? Probably not. Be it good, bad or ugly, the Golden state of California is iconic – that’s why! For all your fire safety needs including fire risk assessments, installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets and fire safety training for your staff contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.