Paradise Fire survivors say warnings were too little, too late

By James Rainey LOS ANGELES — Belated warnings from public officials and the reluctance of residents who had survived previous fires to leave home were among the factors that contributed to the delayed and chaotic evacuation in what has become the deadliest wildfire in California history, survivors said. Some of those who escaped from the massive Camp Fire last week questioned why Butte County leaders did not do more to warn residents of Paradise and neighboring mountain communities as a fire whipped with fearsome speed through the mountainous region north of Sacramento. Most of the attention following the wildfire has focused on the search for dozens of people still missing and the possibility that power equipment belonging to the electric utility PG&E may have sparked the fire. But a few residents have begun to ask why notice did not get out to more people about the fire, which [...]

2018-11-14T07:31:28+00:00November 14th, 2018|0 Comments

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

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

Thousands flee as US wildfires kill eight

Thousands flee as US wildfires kill eight THE death toll from wildfires raging through Northern California reached eight yesterday, as tens of thousands fled the infernos that have turned homes and businesses to ashes. It is believed the mammoth blazes raging across the western coast of the US are likely to get even worse, with more high winds forecast. The gale force winds whipped the fl ames into a fiery tornado which reduced the scenic Shasta-Trinity region to ashes, destroying homes and scorching more than 180 square miles. The town of Redding had to be almost totally evacuated, displacing 37,000 people. Police yesterday appealed for help in locating two people who were still missing. Josh Lister was stunned to see the apocalyptic scene that was once his neighbourhood. He and his family had lost their home and belongings to the fire. Returning to the scene [...]

2018-10-15T06:32:22+00:00August 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

Largest California fire not expected to spread as winds subside

(Reuters) - The largest wildfire in California history was not expected to spread on Sunday with light winds forecast, officials said. The Thomas Fire that began northwest of Los Angeles on Dec. 4 has burned 273,400 acres (110,641 hectares), the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said, bigger than the size of New York City. The latest figure is unchanged since Friday. Winds are expected to be lighter than 10 miles per hour, Cal Fire said. The fire was 70 percent contained, unchanged from Saturday. The cause was still not known. The fire spread from its start in Ventura County due to strong Santa Ana winds from the California desert. The fire has destroyed 1,063 structures and scorched coastal mountains, foothills and canyons across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles, officials said. Cal Fire said there were flare-ups of hot [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:48+00:00December 26th, 2017|0 Comments

California fire: Resident says neighborhood looks like ‘war zone’

(CNN)Jeannette Frescas was not concerned about the Thomas Fire until the massive blaze reached her neighborhood in Ventura, California. "At midnight, I woke up with a flashlight in my face," Frescas told CNN affiliate KEYT. "I looked out my window and there were flames that were like, a hundred feet, all around us." Like many residents, Frescas was caught off guard by the fire that has roared across Southern California for 13 days. She's one of tens of thousands of residents who piled into cars and fled as ferocious winds drove the third-largest blaze in modern state history through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. "What was once a paradise was like a war zone," Frescas said of her apartment complex, which was destroyed by the blaze. "It's the scariest thing I've been through in my entire life." Ventura resident Patricia Rye woke up to her son-in-law pounding [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:49+00:00December 17th, 2017|0 Comments