It is not only the residents of Southern California whose lives have been disrupted by the deadly wildfires raging through the region this week. According to the US Border Patrol, the volume of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country has dropped precipitously in recent days due to fear of getting caught in the fires. Although the Border Patrol was forced to evacuate several of its checkpoints, warnings from the Mexican government not to venture into the area were largely heeded by migrant workers.
However, a small number of people tried to take advantage of the crisis to make their way into the United States. Fifty people have already surrendered themselves to authorities to escape the fires, informing the Border Patrol that smugglers convinced them to cross while the emergency created a distraction. It seems that, like the residents of Southern California, these illegal immigrants and their smugglers were caught off guard by the destructive power of these wildfires.
Illegal immigrants have also been hired to fight wildfires in several states. Click here to view an article discussing the issue from The New York Times.