Guest Editorial: Drought Distress

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Our State’s drought really is in a State of Emergency. The state’s population is now around 40 million, and growing. Illegal immigration (half of all undocumented aliens live in California) has added millions to the state’s population, increasing our water usage. What happens when America’s most populous state runs low on its most precious resource for the fourth year in a row?

Let’s start with the obvious -— wildfires. In February, crews battled a wildfire south of Mammoth Lakes, which tore through more than 7,000 acres and destroyed 40 homes. A February fire in Mammoth is not unheard of, but certainly shows a very early and extremely dangerous wildfire season ahead. Start preparing now!

Water restrictions will certainly be the norm, resulting in limited usage, brown lawns, no car washing and fines for excessive use, to name a few. Dry air, dust and pollen in the air will affect our respiratory systems and allergies.

An increase in West Nile virus cases could be reported, as a lot of water in nature becomes stagnant. Rats, rattlesnakes and ants will have their sights on human populated areas (our homes), seeking water. Foothill areas will see bears, mountain lions and other wildlife doing the same.

Food prices, restaurants, hotels, recreation activities, etc. will increase in cost as our most precious resource remains in demand with limitations.

Make no drought about it, we have a serious problem and we need to take action!

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