• CEDAR FOREST FIRES IN CALIFORNIA •
Started by 2 careless hunters, the forest fires in California devastated many towns of the California state in America including Julian town and the San Diego County. They were one of the worst affected. To fight this calamity, 125 fire engines and many fire fighters were appointed by the government specially, to save historic buildings in the San Diego County. The fire increased each second and approximately affected 600000 acres of land, destroyed 1600 houses and killed 13 people. The Santa Ana winds that blow at the speed of 50-60 mph helped in the spread of this disaster. Thousands of customers were seen fleeing from the Magic Mountain Theme Park, near the affected area. The residents were given only 15 minutes to flee from their homes as the direction and turns of the fire could not be predicted due to the twisting Santa Ana Winds from Mexico. By the end of the day, the fire was just 30 kilometers north of the city of Los Angeles.
Firefighters worked all night to control the fires and controlled them by the next morning. Almost 300000 acres of land was burnt.
Thirteen people were killed by fire in San Diego County, most while trying to escape in their cars, and four people died during the weekend in San Bernardino. Two of those were elderly men who died from stress caused by the fires.
Birth of the flame that caused the fires
Eyewitnesses say that they saw 2 men in a gray van in their 20s who were cruising around the forest. They were spotted throwing burning objects and cigarettes out of their windows into the dense Cedar forests in California . The trees being inflammable, acted as a good conductor for the fire. When one of the accused was presented in the court, Sergio Martinez was ordered to spend six months in private confinement that will allow him to continue to work and be free on weekends to perform 960 hours of community service. Martinez also was placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay a fine of $150 a month over that period.
Not only they were responsible for the fire, a lost hunter signaled for help using fire in the forest and his helplessness made him responsible for damaging 300000 acres of land. But he was detained by the court.
Role of the Government
The U.S. Defense Department is providing military assets to fight the wildfires in California at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center. Four C-130 aircraft configured to drop water or fire-retardant chemicals have been approved to be sent to the area. Eight UH-60 helicopters equipped with water buckets from the California National Guard are deployed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration made plans to open "one-stop" centers for residents and business owners to file paperwork for emergency loans allowed under the president's disaster declaration.
The Cedar Fire was perhaps the most devastating. After it ignited ,it consumed 80,000 acres in about 10 hours, and by the next morning had reached 206,000 acres, the largest fire in the state since a blaze scorched 220,000 acres of Ventura County in 1932.