The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall's deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif. As we head into summer, with smoke already drifting into the Northwest from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. She pointed to the hazardous conditions in forests that result from a history of suppression of wildfires, rampant home development in high-risk places and the changing climate. "When you look nationwide there's not any place that we're really at a fire season. Fire season is not an appropriate term anymore," Christiansen said in an interview with NPR at the agency's headquarters in Washington. Christiansen's agency is the nation's lead firefighting apparatus. It's trying to prioritize treatments such as thinning, brush clearing and prescribed burning on 80 million [...]
By JENNIFER CALFAS Updated: October 11, 2017 10:02 AM ET | Originally published: October 10, 2017 Fast-moving wildfires tore through California this week, destroying 1,500 homes, wineries and businesses in what has become one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state’s history. A number of wildfires swept across Northern California in Napa and Sonoma counties just north of San Francisco — killing at least 17 people and forcing thousands of residents evacuate their homes as firefighters struggled to contain the roaring flames that have scorched tens of thousands of acres.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The historically deadly wildfires ravaging Northern California regained momentum Wednesday as winds whipped back up, pushing blazes through parched hills and vineyards and prompting more evacuations from an arc of flames that has killed at least 17 people, destroyed more than 2,000 buildings and battered the region’s renowned wine-growing industry. Fires advanced overnight toward populated areas in flame-battered Sonoma County, prompting officials to order a fresh round of mandatory evacuations — some of which were announced by deputies “running toward the fire, banging on doors, getting people out of their houses,” said Misti Harris, a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. “It’s rapidly changing, it’s moving quickly, it’s a very fluid situation,” she said. “The fire is growing.” See the full article HERE
1 dead as Wine Country fires burn hundreds of homes and businesses, force evacuations, close hospitals
A swarm of wildfires ripped through Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties Monday, killing one resident, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, forcing thousands to flee and turning wide swaths of the Wine Country into wastelands of twisted metal and ash as firefighters sought to contain flames super-charged by powerful winds. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Napa and Sonoma counties, seeking to streamline aid for firefighting and recovery. He said the fires, which blanketed much of the Bay Area in smoke, were “really serious,” but added, “We are on it.” One of the main fires roared in the Atlas Peak area of Napa County, a famed winemaking spot northeast of the city of Napa and the Silverado Trail where at least 50 structures were leveled. Another fire burned north of Carneros, and still another near Kenwood, east of Santa Rosa in [...]
(CNN)Firefighters are facing difficulties battling three fast-moving wildfires north of Napa, California, totaling at least 44,000 acres as of early Monday, officials said. The blazes have become a rapidly evolving crisis as Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday issued an emergency proclamation for three counties and local officials are working up a strategy to confront the fires, which show no sign of ending amid high winds and hot and dry weather. More than 50 structures have burned due to the rapidly moving Atlas Fire in Napa, said Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann. Complicating firefighting efforts are low humidity and a lack of resources, he added. See the full article HERE