September Current Events (2020)

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Right now, we have around 25 large wildfires burning in the state of California. The one that affects us in the Kern River Valley the most is The Sequoia Complex Fire, which came from the convergence of the Castle fire and the Shotgun fire. This is the fire that has been covering our valley in smoke for the past
few weeks and has resulted in a total cost of $45,970,818. As of September 22nd, The Sequoia Complex Fire was 141,600 acres. There were about 1,458 people working on it. The type one team assigned to this fire set up camp at our high school.

“This team is The Northern Rockies team one, from Montana. They manage anything from hurricanes, wildfires, and other incidents or disasters.” -Alfred Watson, District Ranger of the Sequoia National Forest.

Since we have many large fires in California and the west coast, there are no resources to spare. Because of that, the 18 national forests in California, including the Sequoia, have closed due to the fire risk. That might not be such a bad thing… Before the Sequoia closed, we had close to 30,000 tourists camping in the KernRiver Valley per weekend. While some of these visitors were responsible and cleaned up their trash, an overwhelming majority of them did not. Campgrounds all around the Kern River Valley have been trashed, porta potties flooded, and dumpsters blocked.