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 [...]
Carl Zaid wasn’t sure how to tell his wife their house had just burned to the ground, so he did it with the help of a flamingo. Her name was Miss Pink, and she was perched in her usual spot in the front yard the night the family fled as flames approached from the canyon behind them. And she was there the next day, singed but still standing, when Zaid and his two daughters came back to find their house a heap of concrete, rubble and countless screws. Christmas lights straddled the mailbox. Zaid called his wife. He broke the news. “Miss Pink’s feathers are a little ruffled, but guess what — she’s looking for a new home,” he said. Losing the Ventura home they moved into almost 40 years ago was hard. Really hard. Finding out their insurance won’t come near to covering the cost of rebuilding has begun to [...]
A week after several wildfires ignited in Northern California, firefighters are making progress toward containing the massive blazes that have killed at least 40 people and burned about 5,700 structures. On Sunday, diminished winds gave firefighters a break in the weather to gain ground on the rash of fires that have scorched swaths of Northern California, including Sonoma and Napa counties. As California Gov. Jerry Brown said over the weekend: "We are not out of the woods yet, there's still fires burning." Officials voiced cautious optimism over the latest efforts. See the full story HERE
(CNN)The misery and heartbreak caused by the one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks in California's history aren't going to end anytime soon, officials said Thursday. "We're not even close to being out of this emergency," Mark Ghilarducci, the director of California's Office of Emergency Services, said Thursday afternoon. The fires that are devastating Northern California have killed 31 people, according to Cal Fire, making it one of the deadliest series of fires ever in the state. The largest of the group of 21 fires are still burning with little containment, and the weather has not helped the thousands of firefighters battling those deadly blazes and new ones that pop up each day. See the full story HERE
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.