The Year of The Blaze
The Year of The Blaze is the colloquial term for the year 2035, the first year of the self-sustaining four-season wildfires (known colloquially as The Blaze) which would cause massive damages to the southwest United States and northwest Mexico for several decades. Since 2035, the southwest of North America has never been completely wildfire-free, as at least one splinter of the self-sustaining fires has been burning since they begun.
Various climate scientists had acknowledged the possibility of a persistent multi-year wildfire in the US decades before it began, but were largely ignored, except by activist groups. By the end of the Second Civil Rights Movement, far more attention was being paid to the issue of Climate Change, and the government was prepared to take radical action. On top of shutting down fossil fuel power plants en-masse (which would occasionally lead to rolling blackouts across the country), various efforts were made to curb the production of high-impact goods, and retrofit energy efficiency into existing buildings.
The Blaze was predicted by the Environmental Protection Agency to take place in 2041, if no change was made. However, the pollutants emitted by the First Anglo-American War, and the major production spike caused by it, pushed forward the prediction to 2038. Still, it was within the range of relative comfort.
When 2034's wildfire season rolled around, the event was expected, but still unwelcome. Worries were passed around when December passed by without major slowdown in fire intensity and frequency, and panic was launched by January of 2035. Several billion dollars in relief were handed out to the region.
At the time president George Green was unwilling to pass any aid beyond $50b, saying, about the state governments and their citizens. "They should learn how to budget properly." President Green insisted, as well, that the fires would end by February, and then proceeded to deny the existence of the remaining fires after after then. President Green's refusal to pass additional relief is considered a key reason as to the economic devastation that followed the Year of The Blaze.
Millions of people across North America were affected by the Year of The Blaze, as somewhere approaching 50,000,000 (50 million) people were displaced, and approximately 10,000 died. The fires also caused tens of trillions of dollars in preventable relief, lost productivity, and property damage and abandonment, partially due to the mass evacuations of San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, El Paso, Tucson, and many other cities and towns in the southwest, which are all considered ghost towns now.
The Blaze and its consequences are considered the primary reason for the rapid fall in the power of the United States, the beginning of mass privatization, the secession of the Pacific States of Cascadia, and consequently, the Balkanization of The United States.
As a result of the fires, a massive, continent-wide Climate Control System was created by the conglomerate of the market-superior megacorps which were taking on government contracts and duties. Fabrileche MT, KorovaCol, Ginbach Orbital banking, Hitachi, Überlegent R, Hosaka, Skořepinová Ocel (SKoL), 提高能力 - Tígāo nénglì (Tig'Gli) to name a few. This system is so vast and varied due to differing manners of manufacture across North America that it is known as 'The Patch'. The Patch was made up of a series of massive state of the art weather manipulation devices and sunshades that periodically cause massive rainfall and pitch black midday skies all across the continent. They can, to this day, be seen moving across the sky, and on the surface of the Pacific coast.