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Wildfires in California

In California we have plenty of wildfires. These several fires destroy homes, kill native plants, and hurt many people. 

My name is Jessica and I am concerned about my community in San Diego. The drought California experienced influenced wildfires.  In dry areas it would have been easy for a cigarette butt to light dead grass and set it on fire. A wildfire will damage or destroy a whole ecosystem. Plants and animals would die off and the area that the fire effected would be reduced to nothing. Eventually another ecosystem will start to grow again in that spot. Unfortunately, the first plants to grow will most likely be invasive. Invasive weeds that are adapted to fire will sprout and overpower the native plants. This is similar to Hawai’i where lava will flow and create land where plants will grow. Hawai’i is full of invasive species, and again the first to pop up where the lava was will be an invasive plant. 

 

Image result for california wild fire

 

Damaged ecosystems are not pretty. I know many other people would agree. But did they know that humans are the number one reason forest fires even occur? 90% of wildfires in the US are caused by us, the other 10% is by natural causes. 

What causes a wildfire?

  1. Unattended campfires
  2. Lit cigarette butts left on the ground
  3. Other items left burning
  4. Volcanic eruption
  5. Lightning strikes

After a wildfire the area it effected is most likely dead. Native plants and animals lose their homes, and so do humans. Fires spread through forested areas and then make their way down to peoples homes. This is a problem because not only do San Diego’s forests get destroyed, communities are also badly impacted. Burned down buildings and houses have to get rebuilt, and the families also have to get taken care of. They need all new food, shelter, and clothes. 

Fire safe Scripps Ranch Cedar Fire

A damaged ecosystem can be caused by many things. Wildfires are just one of the many other reasons an ecosystem would be destroyed. When an area is all cleared of plants and starts to produce plants again it’s called ecological succession. This may or may not happen to burned area, but if it does it is going to take a long time to regenerate. The problem with a damaged ecosystem is that animals can no longer thrive there, native plants die off, and endangered species are threatened. I really don’t want any wildfires to reach beautiful places because it will destroy it. This is a real problem and people need to be more aware of what they are doing by playing with fire or throwing a cigarette onto the floor. 

In Hawai’i there is a wet side of the island and a dry side. We went on a small hike on the wet side and I saw a whole row of tree’s that were charred and dead because of a fire. This made me really sad because it looked like nothing else was going to grow in that area. Even though that could have been done by lava flow, it shows us that small accidents can have a huge effect. 

 

Image result for Dry dead flammable plants

 

Reducing Wildfires in my Community

San Diego is considered a desert so we have many dry plants around the county. I’m planning on doing a dry brush clean up. The county already does that often but i’m going to look online for a program that cleans up dry plants. I’m going to convince my family to join me on this attempt to reduce forest fires is California.  Next time I go camping i’ll also remind who ever is watching the fire to make sure it is put all the way out before we start another activity. Hopefully in the future the amount of fires will be reduced and people with start being smart around a flame. 

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