California wildfires: Death toll reaches grim milestone

The death toll in wildfires sweeping California has risen to 31, with more than 200 people still missing, officials have said. Six more people were confirmed killed in the Camp Fire in the north of the state, taking the toll there to 29. That fire now equals the deadliest on record in California - the 1933 Griffith Park disaster in Los Angeles. In the south, the Woolsey Fire has claimed two lives as it damaged beach resorts including Malibu. An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state. With strengthening winds threatening to spread the flames, California Governor Jerry Brown has urged President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster, a move that would harness more federal emergency funds. In pictures: Wildfire rages in Malibu Watch: Aerial footage shows devastation Animals caught in wildfire destruction [...]

2018-11-12T06:49:03+00:00November 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Photos: The “wall of fire” that destroyed Paradise, California

Update (2:45pm ET): Authorities have confirmed five deaths related to the fire. Fueled by high winds, the Camp Fire blazed rapidly spread the northern California town of Paradise yesterday (Nov. 8), burning over 70,000 acres and leading to the evacuation of the town’s 27,000 residents, plus thousands more in surrounding Butte County. As of writing, the fire is only 5% contained. A police officer who works in nearby Chico was quoted in the AP describing the blaze he encountered when trying to evacuate residents: “It was just a wall of fire on each side of us, and we could hardly see the road in front of us.” The AP recounted the terrifying scene as the fire accelerated towards the town: Residents described fleeing their homes and getting stuck on gridlocked roads as flames approached, sparking explosions and toppling utility poles. “Things started exploding,” said resident Gina Oviedo. “People started getting [...]

2018-11-09T14:33:08+00:00November 9th, 2018|0 Comments

One of the California wildfires grew so fast it burned the equivalent of a football field every second

(CNN)The three main wildfires raging in California have expanded rapidly, devouring virtually everything in their paths. One fire burned an area equivalent to the size of a football field every second during a period Thursday into Friday. Intense winds and low humidity are feeding the flames. So is very dry vegetation, as much of California has seen gotten than 5% of its normal rainfall over the last month. Here are some other startling facts about the fires:   CAMP FIRE The Camp Fire, which is burning in Butte County in Northern California, had grew by Friday to 70,000 acres. It had charred 20,000 acres Thursday in less than 14 hours. It grew by 5,000 acres Thursday in just three hours, according to Cal Fire, meaning it expanded by an average of more than one football field every 3 seconds during that period. The Camp Fire's most significant growth [...]

2018-11-09T14:29:02+00:00November 9th, 2018|0 Comments

5 killed as 3 California wildfires destroy thousands of structures and force evacuations

(CNN)A series of fast-moving wildfires is racing Friday up and down California, leaving at least five dead, destroying thousands of structures and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate through flame-lined streets. A blaze in Northern California sent terrified residents running for their lives as it closed in and destroyed parts of the town of Paradise. Five people have been found dead there in a vehicle that was overcome by flames, the Butte County Sheriff's Department said. And two Southern California fires are just miles from the bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, and a voluntary evacuation advisory was issued for part of Malibu, a seaside city popular with celebrities. Fanned by high winds and fueled by low humidity and dry vegetation, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight into Friday. The threat continues Friday morning, with millions of Californians under "red flag" [...]

2018-11-09T14:23:34+00:00November 9th, 2018|0 Comments

Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires keep growing; juvenile accused of sparking Herriman blaze

As fire crews tried to slow the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires, which grew by more than 17,000 acres Friday night into Saturday, a new fire ignited in Herriman, burning homes and forcing evacuations. As of Saturday afternoon, the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires in Utah and Juab counties had grown to a combined 86,107 acres. They have displaced approximately 6,000 people living in the Woodland Hills, Elk Ridge and Covered Bridge communities, in addition to those living along U.S. 89 from Nebo Creek to Thistle Junction, according to a news release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Those living in the Diamond Fork Canyon and Sheep Creek area have been put on pre-evacuation notice, according to the release. The fire also forced officials to close U.S. 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon on Saturday. U.S. 89 in that area remains closed from mile [...]

2018-10-15T06:55:55+00:00September 16th, 2018|0 Comments

Wildfires: Causes, Costs & Containment

Wildfires burn millions of acres every year, leaving death and destruction in their wake. While natural causes (and climate change) play a part, nearly all wildfires are caused by people. Also, the number of wildfires has increased in recent years, and they are burning longer. Definition The National Park Service uses several terms to describe fires. A wildland fire is the overarching term describing any non-structure fire that occurs in vegetation and natural fuels. (Non-structure fires involve residential, commercial or industrial buildings.) A prescribed fire is a planned fire intentionally set by park managers to meet management objectives. A wildfire is an unplanned fire sparked by natural causes, by human ignition or by an escaped prescribed fire. U.S. wildfire losses during the past 10 years have totaled $5.1 billion, according to Verisk Analytics, a data-analytics provider that serves the insurance industry. About 4.5 million U.S. [...]

2018-10-15T06:35:43+00:00August 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Wildfires burning longer, spreading faster in Western US

Wildfire experts are concerned about the rapid growth of fires once they've started. Author: Jake Whittenberg Published: 5:08 AM PDT August 21, 2018 Updated: 11:09 AM PDT August 21, 2018 Every Summer the images of wildfires burning across the U.S. are becoming much more common. There is no question the fires are happening more frequently in the Western U.S. KING 5 analyzed data kept on every wildfire in Washington since 2005 and found some alarming new trends. In total, 386 larger wildfires have burned in that time that required some coordinated response under a Type l, ll, or lll interagency management system. While the average burn time used to be around five or six days, wildfires appear to last a lot longer on average. In 2017, the average burn time was 51 days. Also see | Fireproof homes could be the answer to massive wildfires [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:41+00:00August 21st, 2018|0 Comments

A look at California’s largest wildfires, by the numbers

(CNN)626,394 acres burned. 2,139 structures damaged or destroyed. And nearly 36,000 residents evacuated. That's just a glimpse of the devastation that California's fire season has wrought so far this year. With thousands of firefighters spread across all parts of the state, here's a look at the fiery destruction by the numbers. 17 major fires There are 17 large wildfires burning across the state and more than 14,000 firefighters working to put out the blazes, Cal Fire said on Tuesday. The two largest fires are the Mendocino Complex Fire -- which itself is made up of two nearby fires that officials have combined -- and the Carr Fire. The Mendocino Complex is now the largest fire in state history, and the Carr Fire is the 12th largest. Vast areas burned So far this year, fires in California fought by Cal Fire and US Forest Service have [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:41+00:00August 8th, 2018|0 Comments

Wildfire Smoke Detected in Majority of U.S. States

 Wildfires Burned At Least 90K Acres, 6,000 Evacuated in Utah The Pole Creek Fire and the Bald Mountain fires have burned over 90,000 acres in Utah just south of Salt Lake City. At a Glance Western wildfires are sending their smoke plumes across much of the United States. This is causing unhealthy air quality in parts of the West, as well as unworldly sunrises and sunsets. Dozens of wildfires are burning across the western United States, including at least 18 major fires in California alone, sending plumes of smoke across much of the country. "Large wildfires from central and Northern California into northern British Columbia continue to burn and emit thick smoke, contributing to an expansive area of varying density smoke reaching from the Pacific coast eastward as far as Lake Superior and Hudson Bay and from the southwestern Northwest Territory to Guadalupe Island 150 [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:42+00:00August 7th, 2018|0 Comments

US wildfires: smoke billows and we’re stuck indoors – this is how we live now

The pool is closed, the kids can’t play outside – we’re all trying to avoid harmful smoke from wildfires burning far away. Last week my kids went to a nature daycamp in Klamath Falls, Oregon, near the California border, where we live. It was meant to be a week of roaming the hills, learning about local species like fence lizards and sagebrush. Instead, they looked at pictures of these species while staying inside with all the windows firmly shut. Klamath Falls kids have been spending a lot of time inside this summer – days and days indoors, sweating and playing with Lego and watching TV. The outdoor pool has been closed. Our baseball team, the Klamath Falls Gems, cancelled the rest of the season. This year’s fire season in the west started out early and is on pace to be one of the worst ever. [...]

2018-10-15T06:49:05+00:00August 6th, 2018|0 Comments