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Climate change is converting cities into 21st century ghost towns

In California, most ghost towns were created when a local industry collapsed. Now, climate change is more often to blame when booming communities whither and die, reported Daniel Cusick in E&E News.

In an eerie horror story released just before Halloween, Cusick wrote about five towns around the nation that have died or are dying from climate-related disasters. Historic Shasta and Helena, Calif., are featured in one of the vignettes. 

"Those are two towns that are getting more ghostly," said Yana Valochovich, UC Cooperative Extension forestry advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

A 19th-century mining town, Shasta City had been a preserved tourist destination in Shasta State Historic Park since 1937 when it was burned in the 2018 Carr Fire, the seventh most destructive wildfire in California history. Helena, a 170-year-old pioneer mining settlement, burned in the Helena Fire of 2017.

There almost certainly will be more "dead towns" as fires consume more of Northern California, Valochovic added.

The Helena Fire of 2017 burned down a pioneer mining town. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)
Posted on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:14 AM
Tags: climate change (101), wildfire (154), Yana Valachovic (19)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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