Wildfires in California, the best defense.

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Yosemite National park is located in northern California 1 or 2 hours away from San Francisco. It is a mountain range that shows off the beauty of natural America. When my family and I took a trip to California to see the mountains, we expected to see the beautiful forests and mountain ranges, which we did, but we also saw something we did not expect to see. We took a plane which took about 5-6 hours to get there, but on the way to their house by car we saw a lot of burnt down trees and forests along the mountain tops. I’ve always known and heard about the forest fires in California but to actually see the damage with my own eyes was a strange and scary experience. 

When you see something like that on the news you passively don’t think of it affecting you or even consider you might see it one day, but sometimes you do and it makes you want to do something about it or help in any way you can. To fully understand the gravity of the situation you need to understand the landscape and history of the lands being affected by these wildfires. Yosemite is a national park in California home to some of the most beautiful mountains in the country. It is also home to huge forested areas and grassy fields as well as lakes and houses where you can stay over weekends. It is the main affected area of wildfires in the state and around 4,689 acres of forest have burned. The source of these problems range from natural causes like lightning and heat waves to the way most people joke and hear about; a gender reveal party using a smoke bomb which tragically took a firefighters life. The couple responsible for the gender reveal party that started the fire now face 20 years in prison. 

The nature of these wildfires is so unfortunate, there’s little we can do to stop it because the cause is so out of nowhere and unpredictable, whether it be stupid people or lighting. Although there is little we can do to stop it from happening, there are things people can do to lessen the damage. For example there is a really interesting practice called controlled burnings; when someone burns a small amount or line of land to prevent wildfires from spreading past it because what’s already burned can’t be burnt. Such is an example of people fending for themselves and using what they can do to protect themselves and their property from things they can’t control. In reality the best defense against these things that we cannot control is community, multiple determined people in a strong community working together can be the best defense against anything nature has to offer and is the reason humanity in general was able to survive as long as we have in harsh natural conditions. 

SDG Goal #15 of the United Nations Global Goals is “life on land” which is the effort of maintaining life and letting it thrive on land. This hugely relates to forest fires as they are in part caused by people and endangering wildlife as well as human life. The global goals themselves are a great example of humans coming together to solve problems as a community. The overall solution to this issue is that the world is not united on some of these issues, if the whole world works together to stop global warming this forest fire issue would be much less of a problem. When humans are faced with challenges beyond our control, the best solution is to work together as a community.