A massive Bush Fire in the Verdugo Mountains north of Los Angeles has destroyed three homes in Tujunga and forced hundreds of people out of their homes. The fire, labeled as the La Tuna fire, spread to an area of more than 5,800-acre and firefighters had to struggle to fight the blaze. It had shut down a nine-mile stretch of an important Freeway, and in the opinion of officials, it could be one of the largest bush fires in the history of the city, regarding size.

Effects of the bush fire

Los Angeles Times reports that firefighters were finding it difficult to contain the bush fire because of erratic wind patterns.

This has been confirmed by Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas who has explained that the priorities of firefighters keep changing as the wind direction changes because they have to ensure the safety of surrounding properties.

The fire had affected movement on several Freeways with some portions closed to traffic and residents of more than 700 homes were asked to evacuate from dangerous areas.

Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, declared a local emergency and he wanted Gov. Jerry Brown to endorse it to ensure availability of state and federal assistance to the city at the earliest.

Officials have cautioned that the quality of air in the region is a matter of concern due to smoke and have suggested that people should wear respiratory masks.

Why do such fires happen?

The cause of this fire has yet to be established. Fires of this nature can originate from an accident or be intentional but, the probability of natural causes is more. Trees protect the environment and when they dry up, become potential sources of fire because of friction between dry branches.

Bush fires can be attributed to the loss of the protective cover provided by the environment in the form of greenery.

This vital green cover is also sacrificed when there is deforestation in the name of development so that man can expand his empire. Above all, there is global warming which is another factor that contributes to climatic disorders and leads to drought conditions when water bodies dry up.

A fire like the one in the Verdugo Mountains north of Los Angeles calls for immediate action and firefighters descend on the scene to contain it and save lives and property.

At times they use aerial methods, but those are clean up operations. The fact remains that these fires destroy not only the trees but also the ecology. They will leave thousands of acres of land barren which will not be able to support life while animals, and birds will lose their natural habitats. Recovery will be a long drawn process that could take decades.