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California’s wildfire burns land 10 times the size of Seoul

California’s wildfire burns land 10 times the size of Seoul

Posted July. 27, 2021 08:08,   

Updated July. 27, 2021 08:08


California’s largest wildfire in history, now in its 12th day, is destroying much of the state, which is still reeling from a heat wave. The fire has already charred 605 square kilometers of land, 10 times the size of Seoul, and put thousands of houses at risk, causing residents to flee. Foreign news media reported that it is another climate disaster brought by climate change.

According to CNN on Sunday, the wildfire, which was sparked on July 13, is continuing for 12th day. The wildfire called Dixie Fire burned 771 square kilometers of land, including Butte County. Despite the battle against the fire, which stretched into its 12th day, only 21 percent was contained, putting more than 10,000 buildings under threat.

Not only in California, there are 86 active wildfires in 12 states, charring more than 6,063 square meters by Sunday. About 22,000 firefighters are battling the blazes but finding it hard to contain the fires as there are many dry and isolated lands. Some of the areas are steep and rugged, preventing fire trucks from entering.

Secondary damage from the wildfire was also reported. The Polar Research Institute said on Monday that it had identified levoglucosan, one of the byproducts of wildfires, in snow samples from northwestern Greenland. The Institute added that it captured the process, where carbon monoxide from the wildfires in the U.S. reaching Greenland thousands of kilometers away. Scientists warned that if the material accumulates on top of snow and glaciers, it can absorb more sunlight and melt the ice.

The U.S. National Weather Service said the concentration of fine dust in the atmosphere has risen due to the wildfire, causing the air quality to reach very unhealthy levels. It warned that people with respiratory problems should refrain from having outdoor activities.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com