California is in the midst of a great tragedy as first responders continue to fight off massive fires and rescue those at risk who were unable to escape. Nearly 2 dozen wildfires have swept across various parts of the West Coast state, destroying everything in their path.
According to ABC News, the flames have now reached over 170,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures, and forced roughly 20,000 people into evacuation. On Wednesday, the death toll rose to at least 21 people.
Additionally, over 550 people are missing. Sadly, all of these numbers are expected to drastically increase until the fire is completely contained.
This has been described as “one of the worst disasters in California’s history.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the cause of the fire remains unknown. No suspects have been reported in connection with the fires, and it is possible that this is simply just a natural disaster.
Unfortunately, USA Today reported the fire will most likely continue to worsen due to high-speed winds and low humidity. Although winds are expected to slow down mid-week, they will intensify before the weekend, possibly sparking a “rapid spread.”
On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for California. The declaration will allow for additional resources in recovery efforts.
This comes shortly after multiple hurricanes have devastated various southern states and the East Coast. In this time of difficulty, leaders have stressed the importance of coming together as a country—praying for one another and helping physically or financially when you can, whether that is volunteering your time or contributing a small donation to recovery campaigns.
In related news, a heartbreaking story of an elderly couple emerged in the midst of the wildfires. Please keep their friends and family in your prayers, as well as all other victims affected by this horrible tragedy. Thank you!