Controlled burns that adopt indigenous methods to use the ‘right’ fire to fight destructive mega-fires have become an increasingly accepted method in recent years, but experts say the state has a lot of catching up to do. .
Until then, attempts to extinguish fires are inevitably necessary to save lives and property. In the past year, California has spent more than $ 1 billion on emergency fire suppression efforts, but reduced its prevention budget. This year’s budget includes more than $ 500 million for fire prevention, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in April.
Yet resources remain tight. The US Forest Service has struggled to retain federal firefighters, who earn about half the salary of their state counterparts in Cal Fire. When the Caldor fire hit 6,500 acres in mid-August, only 242 firefighters had been assigned to it. Eventually, hundreds more were redeployed from the Dixie Fire, which has so far razed over 800,000 acres and was still less than half contained on Tuesday morning.
Residents experiencing the worsening fires are wondering where, if any, they will be safe from forest fires.
Among the evacuees from South Lake Tahoe on Monday were Darren Cobrae, a real estate investor, and his partner, Stephanie Cothern, who was driving the couple’s car to the Nevada state border.
Inside were bags of clothes, two large parrots and three dogs, Banana, Freddy and Copper.
Mr Cobrae said he moved to South Lake Tahoe from southern California, where his home nearly burned down in a 2007 wildfire.
“I thought I would be safe in this city,” Mr. Cobrae said. “And now,” he said, pointing to a sky thickening with smoke.