Mountain lions are eating California wild donkeys. Why scientists say this is a good thing… because it may be the end of the San Joaquin Valley as we know it.
By Jon Weisman
What in heaven’s name is going on in Bakersfield? The city has become ground zero for a deadly wildfire that is growing into a major disaster, as flames whip through neighborhoods the size of a small town. The first three days saw massive, destructive winds, then a calm day, followed by a week with sporadic, but massive, fires. More than 5,200 homes have been damaged in one of the worst outbreaks of wildfires in California history. As much as 1,100 homes have been destroyed.
Meanwhile, while the situation in the mountains of the San Joaquin Valley is dire, the situation in Bakersfield still isn’t good. The fires, fueled by dry fuel, are spreading rapidly through the San Joaquin Valley, and the entire community is in danger. Yet, as of yet, Bakersfield seems unaffected. Officials are hoping that this is temporary, and that the firefighters will be able to turn the corner.
“It is likely the worst we’ve seen in the past week,” says Michael Baker, with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, according to Science Daily. “We’ve seen some improvement but haven’t seen the results yet.”
If that were true, then Bakersfield would be lucky. Unfortunately, it’s not. Bakersfield has seen almost all of the worst of the fires in the area; some of them have destroyed more than 5,000 homes. But because the fires are so huge and so widespread, the city’s firefighters are having a hard time.
The fires have spread so much, they have destroyed more than one-quarter of the city.
“It’s the worst it’s ever been. It is probably the worst [fire] situation ever in Bakersfield,” says Baker. “It’s absolutely horrible. I cannot even say anything else. I have no words to describe what I’m seeing.”