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As the wildfire season approaches California, insurance businesses abandon citizens

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  • Digital Team 

California’s environmental conditions have always generated alarming wildfires, but the escalation of climate change in the past years contributed to problematic burnings. Factors like more wood fuel and the surging electricity transmissions due to the larger population play a significant part in causing more aggressive wildfires, such as the ones from 2020 and 2021. 

The record-breaking event caused more than 9.900 wildfires, 4.3 million acres burned, and seven counties were affected. During these times, the winds of Diablo and Santa Ana have definitely made things worse around the state, so the complexity of the event was unprecedented and difficult to manage. 

Unfortunately, as we move forward from that destructive wildfire season, the state’s citizens are affected by hazardous air quality, and the overall pollution triggers many health conditions. Moreover, insurance companies are fleeing the state, leaving people with no coverage in case of another massive wildfire. So, how can communities protect themselves? 

white and green house near green trees during night time

Why is wildfire coverage that necessary?

In a state where the dry climate and extreme weather conditions are ordinary, having wildfire coverage is more than necessary. Unfortunately, companies are either not renewing homeowner coverage for homes and apartments or are pulling out from the state due to inflation or the high predisposition for buildings to crumble.

So, citizens are left alone to protect themselves during the wildfire season. Indeed, the community is making considerable efforts to develop an effective emergency response system and make emergency shelters available.

How can citizens take care of their health?

Besides the dreadful loss or disintegration of one’s home, managing health after such an event can be difficult. Smoke exposure can lead to fatigue and headaches, but in the long term, it might contribute to asthma attacks, strokes, and lung cancer.

Therefore, during or right after exposure to smoke, people should drink lots of water to keep their bodies hydrated. Recent studies suggest that drinking hydrogen water might help prevent disease as it acts as a selective antioxidant that can protect the body after exposure to the sun or chemicals. Hydrogen water is also anti-inflammatory and increases energy, which can aid people in maintaining their forces after a wildfire. 

Other helpful solutions include getting lots of rest and avoiding too dry or humid environments to prevent lung irritation. However, people should still see a doctor to make sure the smoke hasn’t heavily affected their health. 

What about preparing their houses?

Although insurance isn’t reliable anymore, people can still adopt a few practices to lower the chances of massive destruction to their homes. For example, they can inspect their properties and look for elements that can contribute to fires, such as:

  • Leafy greens and flammable plants need to be far away from structures;
  • Combustibles should be at least 15 feet from the building;
  • Exposed spaces such as decks and porches must be equipped with fire-retardant features;

People must also cover home openings, such as attic vents, with mesh wire to prevent fire from spreading inside. Fire-resistant roofing and siding are also a must. Thermal glass and fire-resistant shutters must also be applied to windows.

Homeowners should also consider the country they live in because some are riskier than others. For example, the Dixie fire in Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama was the most destructive fire of them all in 2021. It not only destroyed 1,329 buildings but also made the air quality the worst in the world.

How can nature recover after such incidents?

Regrettably, not only humans and buildings have been affected by the wildfires in California. Entire ecosystems have been wiped out after the terrible wildfires in 2020 and 2021, when many species had their habitats entirely or partially burned and destroyed. On the other hand, many species are not used to megafires, even though some are stronger than others. Researchers found that species like the great gray owl are better equipped to survive such incidents than the long-toed salamander, which has recently declined as ecospecies.

Still, nature never ceases to surprise us. The Californian ecosystem started to heal one year after the 2021 wildfire, with flowers growing from the soil, but it might take up to five years until the areas affected are back to what they were before the fire. Conifer trees, for example, take longer to heal, but shrub species have rapidly regained their power.

So, how is the state getting ready for the next wildfire season?

The government has made considerable efforts to prepare for the next wildfire season, which is forecasted to be more aggressive than the previous ones. This is especially true in places like Canada, where the drought and lack of snowfall have contributed to arid land.

In California, the government increased its investments in fire management, including workforce and equipment. More positions for fire crews and firefighters were provided, while the aerial fleet has expanded considerably. Aircraft and helicopters are also plentiful and ready for near-flying operations.

Soil treatment hasn’t been ignored either, as more than 100,000 acres have been managed toward fuel reduction to decrease the chances of a disastrous fire. In addition, California reached out to the US Forest Service for an additional partnership that would improve about one million acres of the state by 2025 to navigate the challenges during the wildfire season.

Get ready for the Wildfire Awareness Month

Regardless of where you live, it’s best to spread awareness about the risks of a wildfire and the impact on people’s health and lifestyles, as well as the consequences on nature. Generally, May is the month to celebrate this event since the weather gets warmer and vegetation starts to dry out, becoming a hazard.

During this month, you can learn about wildfire resistance and become more Firewise by understanding how fires start and expand. At the same time, studying the effects of wildfires on communities is crucial to establishing methods of surviving and recovering.

Are you ready for another dry season in California?

The wildfire season is slowly returning, and Californians are left without insurance coverage as companies pull out due to inflation. Unfortunately, building houses after a wildfire is getting more expensive, but citizens can better prepare their homes to lower risks while the government has boosted resources and strategies to minimize disasters.

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