California has been devastated by a number of Wildfires that have burnt down nearly 50,000 acres and destroyed at least 1500 homes. The loss of lives is believed to be more than 10 with a few suffering serious injuries, and people from more than 5000 homes had to evacuate.

The evacuees, numbering around 20,000, faced difficulties because debris and flames blocked some of the roads. A state of emergency has been declared in three of the counties, north of San Francisco Bay.

A resident of Santa Rosa lamented that the area is in a valley replete with modern construction, and amenities like strip malls, hotels, and supermarkets.

No one expects a fire to render the residents homeless in such an area, but it has happened.

The fire led to evacuations

Sky News reports that there were deaths in the counties of Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma in California. Local media reports indicate that a large number of people have been treated in local hospitals for fire-related injuries like burns and smoke inhalation. Moreover, many people have been reported missing since the wildfires broke out.

Santa Rosa is the largest city in the area with a population of about 175,000, and the fires have wreaked havoc. Apart from destroying houses and ruining business, it has forced the closure of schools and even hospitals. The hospitals had to evacuate most of the patients.

A reputed hotel is believed to be in ruins.

Wildfires destroy the environment

When a wildfire starts, the initial efforts are concentrated on trying to save lives and property. Firefighters toil round the clock to control the fire, and the administration declares a state of emergency. People are caught unawares and have to evacuate to safer places while the fire spreads.

It is, therefore, necessary to prevent such fires. These are seldom intentional and are usually attributed to a dry environment due to lack of rainfall. The trees dry up, and friction between the branches lead to sparks and fire. Strong winds fan the flames and the fire spreads to engulf the dry surroundings. People are forced to flee for safety.

Wildfires lead to an environmental disaster. Animals lose their natural habitats, encroach into populated areas, and set up man-animal conflicts. The parched ground and burnt trees take decades to recover and the loss cannot be evaluated. Such a scenario could be the result of global warming that is affecting the weather patterns and is a matter of concern for the world.