As the Smoke Clears

Fires+in+the+North+State+from+Action+News

Fires in the North State from Action News

Naomi Reynolds, Staff writer

963, 276 acres were burned by just the Dixie fires, as stated by Action News, and in regards to the most recent of fires, fire Hoffman, located in Concow, has been contained as of now. It has burned 2.36 acres and is at least 60% contained.

Starting in Feather River Canyon, the Dixie Fire has now made its way past Lassen, affecting not only the people in Butte but also Lassen, Tehama, Shasta, as well as Plumas County. With the influx of fires surrounding Butte County, it is dire that we acknowledge how this may affect ourselves as well as our community.

Though Chico has not experienced fires recently within its own city limits, battalion chief Garrett Needles says a few words on how the fires have affected Chico. “Yes, I feel like the fires have affected Chico, the extra traffic, people, and overall congestion seem to be taking its toll in the city. The municipal infrastructure seems to be tax[ing] at times, with the surge of people.”

The effects of the fires have increased the amount of stress, but also the rise in health risks. With people fleeing their homes and searching for safety, it takes a toll on everyone involved (especially the ones intimately affected of course), and of everyone’s health.

“It is worrisome to have to worry about whether or not you will be able to take your newborn on a stroll or not depending on the air quality,” shares Ayshea Evans, a new mother to a two-week old baby, has had to be more conscious about going outside because her asthma has worsened due to the fires.

No matter where you are in Butte County, the fires have affected you, and may continue to, and have caused stress in many areas. Many first responders, including Needles, have had stressful days, but Needles says that “…the stress level is very high no matter what position you hold within the fire department. At my level, I worry greatly about putting people in harm’s way to battle the wildfires. Not only are the firefighters counting on me, but also their families to ensure they come home when the fire is done.”

Ways to help prevent a fire, as told by Needles, “Make sure that your home is hardened against wildlife, and I would also say to be conscious about your day to day activities… Even small things can start large fires,”

Now more than ever is when we need to show encouragement and appreciation towards our first-responders, firefighters, and medical heroes.