From Time for Kids :

Under Fire

Over the weekend, wildfires in California leave a path of destruction

SEPTEMBER 14, 2015
DAVID MCNEW—GETTY IMAGES

Tall flames rise behind firefighters on September 13, 2015, near San Andreas, California.

A wildfire in Northern California destroyed more than 400 homes and businesses and caused one death over the weekend. Residents were forced to leave the area along roads where some buildings and vehicles were still in flames.

A second blaze, less than 200 miles away, destroyed 135 homes as it spread through two counties in the state’s Sierra Nevada region.

The main cause behind the fast-spreading fires is dry conditions caused by the California drought, which has entered its fourth year.

Firefighters create a firebreak to protect near a home in Middletown, California, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

ELAINE THOMPSON—AP
Firefighters create a firebreak to protect near a home in Middletown, California, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

“The bushes, the trees have absolutely no moisture in them, and the humidities are so low that we are seeing these ‘fire starts’ just erupt into conflagrations,” or large, disastrous fires, says Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Ghilarducci said this summer’s fires are the most destructive he has seen in 30 years of emergency response work.

Fighting Fires

On September 13, firefighters raced to control the 95-square-mile blaze as thousands of residents fled their homes. In the Lake County town of Middletown, California, wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour spurred flames that quickly engulfed homes and businesses.

California Governor Jerry Brown called a state of emergency to free up resources on September 13. Meanwhile, the other 111-square-mile wildfire along the Sierra Nevada foothills had already received the same designation.

Some firefighters worked on the ground to put out spot fires in the two regions while others fought the fire from helicopters flying above.

“This is my home. Or it was,” said Justin Galvin, a firefighter who lost his own house.

On Monday morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the Lake County fire was 5% contained.

A Summer of Flames

A fire continues to burn in the remains of a Middletown, California, home Sunday, September 13, 2015.

ERIC RISBERG—AP
A fire continues to burn in the remains of a Middletown, California, home Sunday, September 13, 2015.

Unprecedented wildfires have sprung up this summer in the Pacific Northwest. California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are among the states most affected. While wildfires are not uncommon in these regions during summer months, record high temperatures have fed the flames.

The largest of the California wildfires this summer is still burning. It began on July 31 after a lightning strike. It has charred 211 square miles and, as of September 13, it was 36 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Staying Safe from Fire

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is urging people to help stay prepared by issuing safety tips. Here are important things to remember if you live in an at-risk area:

· Clear dead weeds and vegetation from your yard.
· Remove leaves and needles from your home’s gutters.
· Before starting a campfire in the wild, make sure you have a campfire permit and are allowed to be on the land you’re visiting.
· After holding a legal campfire, make sure it is properly extinguished.

________________________________________________

Answer the following questions:

1 What is causing the fires in California?

2. Name two things that made the fires spread so fast?
3. What is a fire break?

4. What is a firestart, what causes this?

5. How long has the drought been going on in California?

6. What is a drought?

12 responses

  1. the dry bushes having no rain.
    the dry bushes and trees and the sun.
    the chemicals around the fire.
    the drought and no rain.
    it hasn’t rained in 4 years.

    September 18, 2015 at 11:22 am

  2. Jayden

    Sun and dryness grass.
    Wind and trees.
    It sbuold homes.
    4 yers.

    September 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

  3. sun.2.wind,and spark. 3. a break to stop fire.4. dried grass and burst to flames.
    5.4 years.6 no rain for a certain amount of time.

    September 22, 2015 at 9:48 am

  4. justin

    1. dry grass
    2.drought and sun light
    3.when
    4.
    5. 4years
    6.when you have no rain

    September 22, 2015 at 9:49 am

  5. Jordan

    1. water
    2 Dry wind
    3.Stop the fire
    4.grass gets too hot and bursts into Flame

    September 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

  6. zaire

    no rain
    dry grass and wind
    a fire break is when you use kemikls to stop the fire spred.

    September 22, 2015 at 9:51 am

  7. 1. There was no rain for 4 years.
    2. Fire burned the grass and the wind made the fire spread fast.
    3. It cause on fire from the heat.
    4. No rain and no dry conditions.

    September 22, 2015 at 11:25 am

  8. no ranil
    DRY LAND AND WIND
    CHEMICALS

    September 22, 2015 at 11:25 am

  9. jordan

    1. the heat from the sun 2. the grass and the wind 3.it means fire fi

    September 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

  10. 1.There was no rain for 4 years.
    2.No rain and wind.
    3.The grass goes on fire because the heat from the sun.
    4.No rain and the dry conditions.
    5.For 4 years.
    6.

    September 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

  11. King anaya

    .What is causing the fires in california fires.it was no rian in califonia for years.the fire casd candels.

    September 22, 2015 at 11:26 am

  12. The fires are caused because there was no rain in California for 4 years.
    The fires are spreading fast because of fire tornadoes and firestorms.
    Firefighters can’t stop what’s burning inside the house,that’s a firebreak.
    The drought was going on and on for 4 years.
    It’s what causes a fire and no water

    September 22, 2015 at 11:27 am

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