Forest Fires Rage in the Western U.S.

Several fires have overtaken millions of acres in the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast

Kyle Vogel

The skies are orange and the streets are filled with smoke on the west coast, as everything is covered in flames and ash and the world delves further into chaos and uncertainty.

Several massive forest fires have been burning in the western U.S. since August. This year alone, over 7.3 million acres of land have been devastated. The current fires were reportedly started by a gender reveal party in Los Angeles. In mid-to-late August, the couple set off a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device,” according to, that set the tall grass surrounding them ablaze. Firefighters arrived on the scene, but their efforts were fruitless in stopping the fire.

The fires show no signs of stopping anytime soon – they have been burning for over a month, and only continue to grow.  Another factor is that there has been a major drought in the west. Since there is no moisture in the air, trees and grass are more likely to burn. The smoke and ash in the air is also contributing to the lack of moisture, making it a vicious cycle. 

Now, residents in areas under potential threat of the fires must either evacuate or at the very least, prepare for them. A statewide order of evacuation in Oregon has displaced over 500,000 people. A similar order was issued in Phoenix that evacuated 80,000 people. Thousands of buildings have burned down.

Even residents in the Rocky Mountains are working hard to prevent any fires from spreading in their area. Most residents’ properties are two to three acres in size,mostly covered in trees and tall grass and most of that land is covered in dead wood and tree limbs. This has prompted residents to clean their properties of all materials that may catch or spread the fire, so their chances of harm or relocation become slimmer. 

There is a long way to go until this problem is under control and more time and money can be put into COVID relief efforts.