Amid the terrifying Californian wildfires, a new law has been signed that could change everything for firefighter inmates...
For over a month now...Wildfires have been burning across the west, plunging California and other nearby states into crises.
The fires burning on federal land north of Sacramento are the largest we've ever seen...
6 of the twenty largest fires California has ever seen have taken place this year, with Cal Fire putting the August Complex Fire at the very top of its list.
The 2020 fire season has been record-breaking, in not only the total amount of acres burned at just over 3 million,… https://t.co/M7BQNlUsu7— CAL FIRE (@CAL FIRE)1599762340.0
It is a truly terrifying time...
And, sadly, the fires are showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Family member flying out of California this evening just sent along these photos from the flight. She said passenge… https://t.co/jF7aap3Pqu— Oliver Darcy (@Oliver Darcy)1599443672.0
Things are getting out of hand.CNN reported that there are currently forty large fires burning across California, Oregon, and Washington after extreme heat and high winds spurred on the flames.
Thousands of residents have been evacuated.And more than 2 million acres have burned in California this year alone.
As time trickles on, more and more photos have been emerging from these dismayed areas...
Giving us a perfect, yet harrowing insight into the magnitude of these fires.
California burning down #CaliforniaFires https://t.co/7tqKtWWWna— Sawyer (@Sawyer)1599720235.0
But now, a series of photos have been circulating online...
And they are nothing like we have ever seen before.
It is like I am living in a Snapchat filter #CaliforniaFires #staysafebayarea https://t.co/JMzkBFkVPI— vishnu (@vishnu)1599713271.0
Like something straight out of a horror movie...The skies of America have turned blood red.
Understandably, people have been left incredibly alarmed by the photos...
And it is making many of us ask the question - how on earth has this been allowed to happen?!
Anyone else totally haunted by the red sky pictures?— andrew (@andrew)1599747682.0
Well, as you may have guessed, we mainly have ourselves to blame.While some of these fires were started as a result of natural causes, the majority are sadly man-made.
For example...The El Dorado Fire, which has grown to more than 10,000 acres, was ignited when a family used a “pyrotechnic device" for a flamboyant gender reveal.
Over six-hundred firefighters were called to tackle the blaze...Which became so bad that it could even be seen from satellites in space.
And, as a result of the blaze...
California Governor, Gavin Newsom, was forced to declare a state of emergency in 5 counties.
El Dorado Fire is now well established, going to be a long week https://t.co/WMN970nbtB— Ryan Vaccaro (@Ryan Vaccaro)1599331174.0
Many other fires have been caused by mundane human actions...Like driving a car that sends soot into dry vegetation, as was the case with the Apple Fire in Southern California this year.
Others have been caused by power transmission lines or other pieces of utility equipment...Which may spark and ignite fires in remote - and highly flammable - areas.
It's a truly dire situation.And, as the days roll by, more and more photos from the blazes have been emerging from panicked residents across the country.
The fires have engulfed California's skies into a murky orange hue...Giving the state an eerie, post-apocalyptical aesthetic.
3.1 million acres have been incinerated in California this year, and Gov. Gavin Newsom blames climate change...
There are currently 102 active fires that have burned millions of acres in twelve states across Alaska and the West.
New evacuation orders have been issued for the Bear Fire near Oroville, north of Sacramento and south of Chico. Man… https://t.co/Oauie2S0fm— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30 Fresno)1599726007.0
The August Complex Fire consists of thirty-seven fires that were sparked by lightning this August.
So far it has burned a huge 471,185 acres and is only twenty-four percent contained.
Massive pyrocumulus cloud developing just northeast of Oroville on Sierra Nevada western slope. I believe this is… https://t.co/BygnJPFjlo— Daniel Swain (@Daniel Swain)1599599545.0
Terry Krasko, a spokesman for Forest Service said that the fires could actually be a lot bigger than that.
He said an airplane with "infrared capabilities that measure the size of the blaze" wasn't able to record the fires, as it was out of service.
This is our sky and air, all over Sacramento https://t.co/1EkWwKenZI— Andy (@Andy)1599613852.0
Krasko said that while the smaller fires have been extinguished.The larger parts of the fire just keep getting bigger.
Worryingly this year's fire has surpassed 2018's Mendocino Complex Fire, which burned more than 459,000 acres.
Federal officials say that increased temperatures and offshore gusts have caused the fire to grow angrier over the weekend. Although the temperatures are said to get lower over the next few weeks.
California is on fire. Please considering donating to disaster relief funds, and organizations that help support di… https://t.co/f6jLXM3VOD— new year ri 🍾 (@new year ri 🍾)1599680666.0
President Trump has even given his opinion on the matter...
"You've got to clean your floors. You've got to clean your forests," he said in Pennsylvania. "There are many, many years of leaves and broken trees, and they're, like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up."
Put the crack pipe down @realDonaldTrump you are officially cooked #CaliforniaFires #DumpTrump https://t.co/eGkiXNXQUv— 🌙✨Sx✨🌙 (@🌙✨Sx✨🌙)1599715944.0
Amid these terrifying fires...Just one day after declaring a state of emergency in California's Siskiyou County, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Friday.
AB 2147, authored by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes, officially reforms the state's decades-old prison labor system...In which prisoners are trained and put to work as underpaid firefighters to increase existing professional teams.
Now, that's all changed.Those incarcerated peoples who have served as firefighters will now be able to apply for full-time careers as emergency workers without having a criminal record to divulge.
Those convicted of certain violent offenses would be ineligible, however."I think that after seeing all these young men and women stand side by side with our other fire crews and knowing that they had no hope of entering that profession, I knew that it was wrong and that we needed to do something about it," Reyes told NBC before Newsom signed her bill into law.
There are currently some 3,700 incarcerated people in California's prison firefighting program.
The majority of whom are fire line-qualified, according to Reyes bill. "Inmates who have stood on the frontlines, battling historic fires should not be denied the right to later become a professional firefighter," Newsom said in a statement alongside his bill signing.
@GavinNewsom @AsmReyes47 Thank you! It's impossible to describe my feelings when a bus of inmate firefighters showe… https://t.co/Pyp5AQkom7— ITMFA - Esq. (@ITMFA - Esq.)1599855185.0
This is a huge step for rehabilitation.
And could be extremely beneficial in times like these.
CA’s inmate firefighter program is decades-old and has long needed reform. Inmates who have stood on the frontline… https://t.co/HLoZeIDPFf— Gavin Newsom (@Gavin Newsom)1599854246.0
In terms of the fires that continue to rage on, we've clearly got a long way to go.
For more on the gender reveal party that triggered one of the largest blazes, keep scrolling...
#OregonFires Enchanted Forest in Salem Oregon looks downright Apocalyptic today. https://t.co/DzgaJzuoFo— Jesse (@Jesse)1599593251.0