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The Most Devastating Wildfire Outbreak in California History, Killing Dozens of Civilians and Leaving Behind Mass Destruction

Allie Boyle, Reporter

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These past few months have been extremely difficult for California. Wildfires have completely taken over areas all over the state. The damage from the fires caused severe mudslides, and even more devastation for the surrounding communities.  

The fires have taken from 29 to 31 lives, and have destroyed the homes of so many more. The fires began around mid October and have continued ever since.

When the fires began, they were fueled by intense winds, and quickly became uncontrollable. Around 100,000 residents from different parts of the state were evacuated from their homes immediately. The fires covered more than 300 square miles, almost the size of New York City. Officials are unsure of the cause of the fires, but think they could have been caused by downed power lines.

Although the fires were destructive, the after effects have been even worse. The fires caused massive mudslides, and an enormous amount of debris.

Local California resident Stephanie Gumpel shared her personal story about the fire. Her childhood home near Ventura, CA was burned to the ground, leaving nothing but dust. Gumpel felt compelled to go visit her old home.

“The feeling was a mix of shock, anger, and loss” said Gumpel

Stephanie Gumpel’s childhood home in Ventura.

Talk Show host Ellen Degeneres also got emotional on her show on January 11th. Ellen lives in Montecito and talked about how she and her wife were forced to evacuate from their home. 

“You don’t know the power of a mudslide,” said Degeneres to the Los Angeles Times. 

She also face timed Oprah Winfrey from the show while Oprah was walking through the mud near her house, showing Ellen’s audience the destruction that the mud had caused. According to Los Angeles Times, Oprah said

“We’re going to do what we do,” Winfrey said. “We’re going to come together, and we’re going to do what great Americans do all the time. We’re going to help each other. We’re going to help each other out wherever needed.”

With this fire season being the largest in California’s history, the damage will take time to fix. It is with the help of the firefighters, and first responders that things are getting under control. Although the fires may have cleared for the most part, they will have lasting effects on the citizens of California.




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About the Writer
Allie Boyle, reporter

Allie Boyle is a first time journalism team member entering her senior year at BBHS. During her senior year while participating in journalism and contributing...

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The Most Devastating Wildfire Outbreak in California History, Killing Dozens of Civilians and Leaving Behind Mass Destruction