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 [...]

August 21st, 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. [...]

August 6th, 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 [...]

August 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

Wind fans ‘extremely fast-moving’ California wildfire as western U.S. states battle blazes

GUINDA, CALIF.—A massive wildfire in rural Northern California has exploded in size and forced evacuations in hot, dry weather that is sweeping through several western states where blazes are threatening thousands of homes. The fast-moving fire that started over the weekend northwest of Sacramento grew dramatically to about 243 square kilometres by Monday night, largely burning out of control in rugged terrain with a few cattle and horse ranches and sending smoke and ash as far south as San Francisco. State fire officials said 700 homes and other buildings were threatened but none had burned. The fire that started Saturday about 160 kilometres northeast of San Francisco spread as strong winds pushed smoke south, dusting cars and homes with a thin layer of grey ash. About 300 people were told to flee their homes. No injuries were reported. The flames were chewing through tinder-dry grass, [...]

July 3rd, 2018|0 Comments

After losing homes in the Thomas Fire, the next challenge is insurance

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 [...]

January 31st, 2018|0 Comments

The wildfires in California just keep shattering records this year

(CNN)This year's rash of catastrophic wildfires didn't just destroy neighborhood and livelihoods -- they also annihilated records. And the destruction's not over. The Thomas Fire, which has torched the equivalent of Dallas and Miami combined, is still raging in Southern California.   Here's a look at the records obliterated by the 2017 wildfires: The costliest in US history Damage estimates from the 2017 wildfires topped $10 billion, said Adam Smith of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And that was beforedevastating wildfires tore through Southern California in December. For the past five years, wildfires scorched an average of 202,751 acres from January 1 through December 24, according to state fire protection agency Cal Fire. That number doubled in 2017. More than 505,900 acres have gone up in flames so far in California. That's triple the area of Chicago. Opinion: How climate change worsens natural disasters The worst for air [...]

December 28th, 2017|0 Comments

Alarming failures left many in path of California wildfires vulnerable and without warning

The Sonoma ridgeline was a sunrise of flame as Sgt. Brandon Cutting led deputies up country roads to pound on doors, hollering “Sheriff’s Office!” Thirty minutes later, with Cutting huffing from exertion and choking in thick smoke, the evacuation of Redwood Hill was still playing out one door at a time. He followed the sound of shouts to an officer struggling to carry a disabled woman. Her house was on fire. Her shoe on the ground. The night around them was orange in every direction. It was 11 on a Sunday night, the beginning of what would be the most destructive fire siege in California history. Frantic rescues were taking place across wine country as heavy winds ripped down power lines and the dry hills lit up in flames. Modern technology in the form of robocalls and digital alerts would not join the fight to roust sleeping [...]

December 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Southern California wildfires trigger mass destruction, hurting families, economy

Authorities lifted all evacuation orders in Santa Barbara County and portions of Ventura County on Dec. 21, nearly three weeks after fire personnel started working to slow the wind-whipped Thomas Fire. Officials said the so-called “Thomas Fire,” which started on Dec. 4 about 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, has caused at least 50,000 people to evacuate, destroyed at least 1,063 structures and scorched roughly 281,620 acres so far. About 18,000 additional structures are threatened by the wildfire as well, according to officials. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. As of Monday evening, it was 86 percent contained.  Additionally, the Thomas Fire is now the biggest blaze in California's history since detailed record-keeping began in 1932. One firefighter has died while trying to combat the fire in Southern California, authorities said on Dec. 14. Cory Iverson, 32, was an engineer based in San Diego. He left behind [...]

December 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Thomas fire in California now the 2nd largest in state’s history

The monster Thomas fire north of Los Angeles is leaving its place in the state's record books as it is now officially the second largest fire in California history. For the past 16 days, the fire that has been turning mountainsides to ash has grown. The fire only needs to consume a couple thousand more acres to dethrone the 2003 Cedar fire that maintains the top spot on the list. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced this morning that 60 percent of the fire is contained, up from 55 percent Tuesday and 50 percent on Monday. Cal Fire reported that it was the same size -- 272,000 acres -- as the night before. So far, the overpowering Thomas fire has claimed two lives, caused more than 100,000 people to flee their homes and destroyed 1,313 structures. More than 8,526 firefighters have put [...]

December 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Inferno-fanning winds set to return as Thomas Fire close to becoming largest ever in California by PHIL HELSEL

Calm winds have helped California firefighters make progress battling a massive blaze in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, but the fire is expected to eclipse the largest wildfire in recorded state history, officials said. "We've had a very productive day again. It’s nice having a couple days in a row where we have good progress," Deputy Chief Mark Brown of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, said Monday night. The so-called Thomas fire has burned burned around 272,000 acres since it broke out on the evening of Dec. 4. A respite from powerful winds allowed firefighters to reach 50 percent containment on the fire, and crews were taking advantage of calm conditions Tuesday by performing a controlled burn to remove swaths of dry brush along the fire's northern edge. Related: Two months later, California wildfire victims begin the long road [...]

December 20th, 2017|0 Comments