Mendocino Complex Fire Now the Largest in California History
California's disastrous wildfire season has surpassed last year's historically destructive season in at least one respect.
"It's not stopping," Red Cross disaster services worker Renato Lira told The Guardian. "People thought this year was going to be a break."
The Mendocino Complex Fire has burned 283,800 acres and 75 residencies so far. It was 30 percent contained as of Monday evening, CNN reported. Luckily, no one has been injured.
It was formed by two fires, the Ranch and River Fires, in the Northern California area around Clear Lake.
CalFire spokesperson Tricia Austin told The Guardian that the area was especially fire prone because of its mix of few houses and small towns scattered between large swaths of dry vegetation, from pines to oaks to grassland.
"All the fuels are receptive and the fire is being pushed erratically," Austin said. "They're dry and it's hot and we've got low humidities."
Red Cross worker Dene Shaver said residents of the region were tired of the yearly risk and considering leaving.
"The California people are sort of over it," Shaver told The Guardian. "They want to know why this keeps happening."
"It is our changing climate that is leading to more severe and destructive fires," deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Scott McLean told The Huffington Post Monday.
There are currently 23 uncontained fires burning in the state, according to CalFire.
Another fast-moving fire, the Holy Fire, ignited near Trabuco Canyon in Southern California Monday, burning 4,000 acres and forcing communities and campgrounds to evacuate, ABC 7 reported.
"Fire travels faster than you think," evacuee Tilson Shumate told ABC 7. "It's an incredible sensation to be in this and to be faced with life and death. We think we're ready to die, but are we? I don't know, man. I don't want to go like this, Lord, get us out of here."
The many fires are also impacting air quality in California and its neighbor Oregon.
The number of "Spare the Air" days in Sacramento in Northern California, days on which air pollution levels are unsafe for children and those with respiratory ailments and residents are requested to reduce emissions, is on track to surpass the previous two years' already historically high number of 17, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Air quality in Southwest Oregon's Rogue Valley was declared "hazardous" over the weekend as wind blew smoke from two wildfires burning in the state, The Associated Press reported Monday.
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>