FIRES IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

 

In 2017, fires devastated the Western United States. In 2017, more than 47,000 wildfires burned over 8 million acres across California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 

Over 30,000 firefighters battled the blazes, some for as long as 6 months. According to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, 9 firefighters died, 35 more were injured, and over 5,000 homes were destroyed.

So far in the 2017 fiscal year, the Forest Service has spent $1.75 billion fighting fires; as of Oct. 1, the U.S. Interior Department has spent more than $400 million. Nearly 1.5 million acres have burned and more than half of that acreage is in Montana, California, and Oregon.

California Wild fires

In 2017 California experienced over 5,000 fires burn over 250,000 acres. Fueled by strong winds, dry conditions, and extreme heat there was a 50% increase in the number of fires when comparing 2016 to 2017. The devastation is staggering. Residents were asked to evacuate homes in fire danger areas and the California Governor declared a State of Emergency as hundreds of people have been evacuated from their Los Angeles homes due to the La Tuna fire, Detwiler fire, and fires in California famous wine country - Napa and Sonoma County. The fires in Napa and Sonoma alone have killed 17 and destroyed an estimated 2,000-3,000 structures. In just Sonoma County in 2017, officials reported 183 reports of missing people. Fire crews, helicopters, and air tankers are working around the clock and have dropped hundreds of thousands of gallons of fire retardant on the blazes. Heavily populated areas in Green Valley, Solano County, American Canyon, Napa, and Santa Rosa are being devastated by the fires as thousands of residents and families have been displaced from their homes.

Cal Fire and local fire departments have deployed countless men and women to combat the flames and a Boeing 747 SuperTanker marked it's first use in the United States as it dropped over 10,000 gallons of fire retardant over a fire near Butte County, CA.

What are the affects?

The overarching problem with wildfires in 2017 has been weather.  Hot, dry conditions descended upon the western United States and the weather's grip has not released. There was been little rain, low humidity, and warmer than normal temperatures across the Western United States.  Lightning strikes hit dry grasses and undergrowth, and wildfires are easily ignited.  Without higher relative humidity, and cooler conditions, these fires are able to spread quickly especially in high wind areas.

Help protect your home with CeDUR shakes

As a Hailey, Idaho volunteer firefighter and owner of Scott Miley Roofing, Scott Miley notes, "Sparks and ignited debris can be lifted and carried by convection currents up to a half mile from a fire." he explains, while stressing the importance of having a fire resistant roof on all buildings, "Roofs are the most vulnerable part of the home because they present a large expanse where burning debris may land and ignite a fire." In the event of a fire, ignited debris can land on your roof and create a fire. CeDUR has a Class A Fire Rating (highest fire rating available) and will not allow a flame to propagate on the roof. 

How Does CeDUR play into this?

In California, Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) refers to the zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development land. Communities that are within 0.5 miles of the zone may also be included. These lands and communities adjacent to and surrounded by wildlands are at higher risk of wildfires. CeDUR has a Class A Fire Rating (highest rating available) and is one of the few products allowed for use by Cal Fire for use in Wildland Urban Interface zones.

For updates on fire incidents please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov

For updates on California fire incidents please visit: http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents

Thank you to the brave men and women at local fire departments and Cal Fire who are putting their lives at risk to save and protect our people and our land. Our hearts are with everyone during this time.

 
 

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