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By Alexandra D’Angelo || Staff Writer

Wildfires are an annual problem in California, however this year they have been particularly destructive.The death toll from these fires has just risen to 42 according to state officials, making this year’s wildfires the deadliest in the history of the state of California.

Firemen and first Responders have been working non-stop trying to contain these fires whether on foot or by air. However, California has been in a severe drought for several months which makes water very limited and allows fires to spread quicker than usual. The fires in California are not in just in one location but in many areas of the state, including the Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Butte counties in northern California and areas around Los Angeles in southern California.

So far the strength of these fires has caused over one billion dollars in damages and officials anticipate these numbers growing. The energy of these fires has destroyed over 7,000 homes in structures in Northern California alone.

Initially, because of the strength of these fires, over 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes. Many of these people are now returning to homes that are severely damaged or even destroyed. Because most of the structures in the path of these fires have been destroyed, the pieces of metal, wood and other materials are releasing out toxic chemicals such as asbestos. Because of this, many homeowners aren’t able to go back to their homes and grab their personal belongings.

Homeowners are not the only ones at risk due to the fires. Students and tourists are in danger as well. One of the fires in Santa Cruz, California had firefighters battling the fire near a college campus as well as a popular beach destination. Another issue is smoke inhalation in these areas. The fires in Northern California have burned over more than 182,000 acres, exposing people across the state to potential smoke inhalation issues.

Authorities are still determining the cause of the wildfires. In the coming weeks more information about these fires will likely come to light.

First-year Alexandra D’Angelo is a staff writer. Her email is