Fires Spark Action at the Capitol

August 07, 2018

By Daytona Everett

The continuous fires torching the state of California are sparking action at the state level in Sacramento. California Senator Jeff Stone, R-Riverside, recently joined a new committee focused on subsiding and analyzing the raging fires.

“I’ve been appointed to a committee to do fact-finding to really find out what the cause of the fires are and who should be financially responsible,” Stone said.

Stone said the spread of the fires is due to an excess of dead trees and the poor placement of electrical wires. As of right now, California law prohibits cutting down these trees.

“We have extreme environmental policies that prohibit our ability to remove 129 billion trees that are dead in the state of California,” Stone said. “Which is providing the kindling for wildfires that we see.”

That debris is what’s fueling sixteen fires in Northern California and other fires in Southern California. Stone toured the damage of the Cranston Fire and said under other circumstances, it could’ve been much worse.

“Had one of these electrical wires in the wind sparked and caused a fire in Idyllwild Proper or Pine Cove, there may not have been enough time with only two ways in and two ways out,” he said.

California Senator Richard Roth, D-Riverside, agrees that wildlife is a major factor and climate change is to blame.

“The temperatures are rising and the winds are increasing and are unpredictable,” Roth said. “As a result, they’re drying out our forests, and our land and you do have a fire that creates extraordinarily hazardous situations and frankly, their own weather systems.”

Historically, right now is the beginning of the wild fire season. Wildfires could continue to grow despite wishful thinking. Senator Stone said being proactive about trees and electrical wires could be the answer to halting California Fires in the future. The committee will discuss these topics in future meetings.

Both Senator Roth and Senator Stone extend their gratitude to the firefighters on the front lines as they continue to fight the growing number of fires. California has already spent $240 million in resources this year.