The State Of California Is Never Going To Be The Same After This


Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The state of California sure has been through a lot this year.  The COVID-19 pandemic hit the state particularly hard, fear of the virus sent the unemployment rate soaring, civil unrest has ripped permanent scars in most of the major cities, and earlier this month a historic heatwave caused rolling blackouts all over the state for the very first time since 2001.  So California certainly didn’t need anything else to deal with in 2020, because it has just been one thing after another all year long.  Unfortunately, it looks like the massive wildfires that have been roaring across the state over the last week are about to get even worse.  A “red flag” warning has been issued for Monday, and just about everyone is expecting this week to be a really, really bad week.

But even if all of the fires ended right now, the devastation that we have already witnessed has been off the charts.  Hundreds of individual wildfires erupted after “12,000 lightning strikes” hit the state, and so far more than a million acres have been burned…

Firefighters have been battling more than 600 blazes – sparked by a staggering 12,000 lightning strikes – for a week. About 1.1 million acres of land has been torched. Most of the damage was caused by three clusters of fire “complexes” ripping through 1,175 square miles of forest and rural areas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Those numbers are difficult for me to comprehend.

I would think that 12,000 lightning strikes must be some sort of a record for a single week, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.  In any event, that seems like an exceptionally high number.

Similarly, it is hard for me to imagine a million acres that have been completely destroyed by fire.  It is a monumental tragedy that will take a really long time to fully digest.

Of course the fires are still violently raging as I write this article.  In fact, two of the five largest fires in the history of the state are roaring through parts of northern California right now

In nearly a week, firefighters have gotten no more than the 17% containment for the LNU Lightning Complex fire in wine country north of San Francisco. It’s been the most destructive blaze, accounting for five deaths and 845 destroyed homes and other buildings. It and a fire burning southeast of the Bay Area are among the five largest fires in state history, with both burning more than 500 square miles (1,295 square kilometers).

Overall, wildfires in the state have already caused more death and destruction in 2020 than they did in all of 2019.

Something that has been particularly sad to hear is that many redwood trees are being burned.  Some of those trees are over 1,000 years old, and we are being told that Big Basin State Park experienced “significant fire damage”

Biologists are watching closely as the blazes encroach on old-growth redwood trees in Northern and Central California, where some giants are more than 1,000 years old and are known by individual names. While some seem to have been spared, Big Basin State Park — the oldest state park in California — saw significant fire damage.

That is not just a loss for the state of California.

That is a loss for all of us.

Unfortunately, California’s rapidly growing social decay has also been on full display during this crisis.  Looters have been hitting the evacuation zones pretty hard, and at last eight people have already been arrested

At the CZU Lightning Complex fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. south of San Francisco, authorities said their effort was hindered by people who refused to heed evacuation orders and those who were using the chaos to steal. Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said 100 officers were patrolling and anyone not authorized to be in an evacuation zone would be arrested.

“What we’re hearing from the community is that there’s a lot of looting going on,” Hart said. He said eight people have been arrested or cited and “there’s going to be more.”

And one guy that is apparently vying for the title of “biggest scumbag in America” decided that he would steal a firefighter’s wallet out of his work vehicle and completely drain his bank account…

A California firefighter’s wallet was stolen out of his work vehicle and his bank account was drained while he was battling a blaze, officials said. It was the latest robbery to occur amid fear and panic over wildfires in Santa Cruz.

“It’s absolutely disgusting behavior, I can’t, frankly, I can’t believe that somebody would actually have the nerve to break into a firefighter’s vehicle or enter their vehicle to steal something from them when they’re there to protect the community. Honestly it blows me away,” Chief Deputy Chris Clark with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said during a press conference on Sunday.

You have to be really, really low to do something like that.

But this is what America has become.  We have become a completely lawless nation where chaos reigns, and things are only going to get worse in the years ahead.

And we are also being told that the battle against the wildfires could go to an entirely new level during the early part of this week.  A “red flag” warning has been issued, and the state is bracing for very high winds and more lightning strikes

The National Weather Service issued a “red flag” warning through Monday afternoon for the Bay Area and the central coast, meaning extreme fire conditions, including high temperatures, low humidity and wind gusts up to 65 mph, “may result in dangerous and unpredictable fire behavior.”

There was the potential for scattered “dry” thunderstorms over much of Northern California, the weather service said, and lightning could spark new blazes.

For a long time, I have been encouraging people to consider moving out of the state.

The “California Dream” has become an endless California nightmare, and in 2020 we have seen an endless parade of so many of the reasons why millions have already fled for greener pastures.

In the end, it is such a great shame what has happened to the state.  It is blessed with outstanding weather and tremendous natural beauty, but at this point I don’t know why anyone would want to live there.


  1. Why stay in California?
    People, I have a network here that took a long time to build and at 67 years old I may as well stick it out.
    The fire most likely to affect me is the Walbridge fire, part of the LNU complex.
    I’m hoping my home will still be standing when I am able to return…
    This is the new normal for California, massive fires every year or two.
    And there’s still time for a bigger fire, the rains don’t come until October.

  2. California seems to have a perfect storm of both poor fuel load management and lots of development in fire prone areas. Oregon had a horrendous 2017 fire season but very little damage to residential areas because of urban growth boundaries and regular prescribed burns. My understanding is that both prescribed burns and forest thinning are fought tooth and nail by environmentalists in Cali while far more development happens outside the cities. I am curious to see whether state government takes positive action to effectively manage fires over the winter or more of the same.

  3. Most of this can be laid at the fault of decades of landscape-scale mismanagement by California and the Feds.

    For those who have never seen wildland fires with a wind behind them, here’s the brutal truth: when the fires have enough fuel and enough wind, your home is nothing more or less than more fuel in the path of the fire. Unless you’ve been smart enough to build your house out of concrete, ala SIP panels (ie, there is a real way to build a house out of concrete and have it not look like a Nazi WWII fortification), then you’ve just put more fuel into the landscape. In wildland fire fighting, our training is to assess and size-up how defensible a house is in about 90 seconds. No lie, these assessments are done that fast – and sometimes long before a fire ever breaks out. Using these assessments, firefighters decide which houses will be verified as empty and abandoned to the fire, and which might be defended. Most people’s houses aren’t on the “stay and defend” list. Most houses in the wildland interface areas are built without a single thought to defending against a wildland fire encroaching on them.

    The worst fires are in mid-level fuels – ie, taller/thicker than grasslands, but not monocultured forests, which have little fuel on the ground because little sunlight reaches the ground. Forbs, brush and low trees (pinyon pine, juniper, live oak – you get the idea – smaller trees from 1′ to no more than about 25′ tall), coupled with laddering fuels like grasses and sagebrush, make for a fuel load through which flame fronts can more at over 30 MPH when pushed by wind. These heights of fuel are what urbanites who move into wildland interfaces call “landscaping.” Firefighters call them “ladder fuels.”

    Ever see a wildland fire move across a landscape at 30+ MPH? Most people have no friggin’ clue what that looks like. I’ve seen it several times in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and other places in “the sagebrush ocean” of the west. You can’t out-drive these kinds of fires if you get into a situation where you’re at the head of the fire. You can’t move even a Type VI engine across the landscape that fast, even when empty, and not have it break down. These are the fires that scare firefighters into “shock and awe:” Flame lengths two to three times the height of the fuel, moving faster than you can drive across the landscape. I’ve seen deer, birds, rabbits, you name it, sucked into fires and killed – because they can’t outrun the flame front for very long, and in some areas, fires can make “runs” of multiple miles at a clip.

    In wildland fire fighting. when there’s wind on the loose, you never want to get out in front of a fire, nor uphill. You can only ‘shape’ the fire by working off the flanks and the heel. Often times, you have to pick an “anchor” point of something non-flammable – a road, a body of water, an area with no vegetation (rocky outcropping, etc). Often, firefighters have to burn off the fuel in these areas between the anchoring point/feature and the main fire to starve the main, oncoming fire of fuel over a large enough area that it won’t jump a boundary. Many times the public, misinformed as they are, complain about these deliberate fires to starve a larger wildfire of fuel.

    In most all cases, the problem comes down to environmentalists and gullible members of the public who believe the propaganda of the environmentalists. The environmental agenda is to force people to live in dense urban areas where they can be controlled, and de-populate rural areas except for ‘approved’ uses. Fire does a great job of pushing people out of rural areas – so the environmentalists have a very long-term agenda here: fight fuels management projects so that when (not if) a large fire happens, it helps drive people back into urban areas.

    And that’s what you have going on in California. As Obama once said: “Elections have consequences.” People in California are now discovering what some of those consequences are. But most of them won’t put two and two together. They’ll continue to buy the BS that the environmentalists are peddling and they will refuse fuels management projects. And the fires will continue to burn.

  4. Thanks for the good wishes, my house is still standing and with luck I’ll be able to return in a few more days.
    As to California, the State Government is rotten to the core.
    The actual job of the State AG is to keep anyone from rocking the boat, corruption is endemic.
    Kamala Harris was very good at this, kicking down and sucking up.


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