Wildfire season in the West is living up to its name like never before.
A dangerous combination of lightning strikes, record-breaking heat, and a four-year drought have produced 23 active fires now burning in California alone, and some in the West are calling this the summer of smoke.
More than 10,000 national, state, and local firefighters are deployed across the state. But California isn’t the only smoky state in the West.
Portions of Washington and Oregon are also in danger as the Stouts Creek Fire in Southwest Oregon doubled in size over the weekend. Even Alaska is hot and dry, with an unprecedented number of wildfires earlier this summer.
CAL FIRE has already responded to more than 4,200 fires so far this year — about 1,500 more than average. The Pacific Northwest has seen some 396 wildfires, nearly double their seasonal average.
Verizon Crisis Response Teams have been busy, delivering smartphones, jetpacks and wireless routers to firefighters battling wildfires in Washington, Oregon and Alaska throughout June and July.
VCRT in California is currently keeping first responders connected with a deep lineup of devices including phones, Jetpacks, Internet-connected laptops, 4G LTE routers, Cradlepoint routers, USB modems, charging stations and SCENE or Satellite Cell Emergency Network Equipment.
As always, we run to a crisis. Even during the summer of smoke.