Running head: DISASTER 1
Disaster: California Wildfires
Disaster: California Wildfires
The state of California has been experiencing several series of wildfires each year due to natural causes. In this year the 2020 California wildfire season, there have been several wildfires burning across the California state. These wildfires have been a natural segment of the California landscape. Climate change has been linked with the increased wildfire trends across California, because they cause an increase to summer as well as spring temperatures which leads to a reduction of the snowpack hence causing extensive dry seasons making forests to be at significant risk of wildfires. However, they tend to have serious negative impacts on the California state residents and the entire United States as a whole. As per the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, there has been an approximate total of about 3,484 wildfires as of June 2020 and a total of about 24,3934 acres of land have been burnt, however, no fatalities have been reported.
The California wildfires tend to have significant physical impacts on the California state as well as the United States residents. They tend to be quite devastating to both homes as well as businesses leaving a significant population within the United States homeless as well as jobless. For instance, the wildfires in Napa, and Sonoma consumed more than 7000 structures and in turn a population of more than 100, 000 individuals were displaced. Also, they contribute to environmental contamination as the smoke from the fires releases a toxic chemical which pollutes the environment (Liao & Kousky, 2020). Thus, through pollution of the air, the human population, plants as well as other species within this region tends to suffer from polluted air which causes negative health conditions.
Wildfires tend to have several significant threats to public health, as they tend to cause direct as well as indirect harm to millions of people exposed to the fire as well as the toxic smoke. Research indicated that the smoke produced from the wildfires tends to affect about 50 times larger area compared to the area consumed by the wildfire. This raises concerns because the toxic smoke contains health-harming contaminants which cause significant health issues like, cardiac arrest, stroke, low birth weight, lung cancer, exacerbated asthma, mental condition as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Palinkas, 2020). However, the mental conditions are the main psychological impacts that are caused by the wildfire disasters as many people lose their property, jobs, as well as family members through the fires and it turn’s they suffer post-traumatic stress and grief which influences the occurrence of a mental condition.
A significant impact of wildfires on society is through the disruption of social processes and functions. Often when a wildfire occurs private and governmental property is destroyed and this causes the society to ineffectively conduct its various processes as well as functions. For instance, research findings attained from the wildfire social science indicate that fire events may alter the relationship among the residents as they may feel helpless and at risk of future wildfire (Paveglio et al., 2015).
Wildfires have been a natural segment of the California landscape. However, they tend to have serious negative impacts on the California state residents and the entire United States as a whole. These fires tend to destroy a significant amount of property which leads many individuals homeless and others jobless. Due to this impact of loss, many people tend to suffer from psychological related conditions as they try to cope with life after the fires.
Liao, Y., & Kousky, C. (2020). The fiscal impacts of wildfires on California municipalities. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3612311
Palinkas, L. A. (2020). The California wildfires. Global Climate Change, Population Displacement, and Public Health, 53-67. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41890-8_4
Paveglio, T. B., Brenkert-Smith, H., Hall, T., & Smith, A. M. (2015). Understanding social impact from wildfires: Advancing means for assessment. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 24(2), 212. https://doi.org/10.1071/wf14091