While the effects of California’s historic drought are far from subtle, from the browning of front lawns to pitched debates over sustainable agriculture and groundwater consumption, perhaps none are more dramatic than the current wildfires across the State.
According to CalFire, from January to August 2015, a total of 4201 fires have consumed roughly 100,000 acres statewide — equivalent to a land area more than three times the size of the city of San Francisco. Compared to the same period one year earlier, which saw a total of 2945 fires consuming 87,676 acres, the current year’s totals represent a 43 percent increase in the number of fires and a 14 percent increase in acreage. Compared to the five-year average, the situation looks even more dire, with total fires up 53 percent and total area up over 107 percent.
Direct Relief is responding to this situation by helping provide essential medical supplies including N-95 masks and asthma inhalers to safety net health centers who find themselves in the path of fire and smoke. The map on this page tracks Direct Relief’s partner network with real-time detection of new blazes and changes in the intensity and perimeter area of ongoing fires.