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

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

Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire

TAOS, New Mexico (Reuters) - A man was arrested on Saturday on charges of starting a forest fire in Colorado that has destroyed structures and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes in one of dozens of wildfires raging across the drought-hit U.S. southwest. Jesper Joergensen, 52, was taken into custody for suspected arson that started the Springs Fire, the most active of around 10 blazes in Colorado, the state hardest hit by fires, according to Costilla County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Joergensen is not a U.S. citizen and will be handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once he has faced arson charges, said a Costilla County detention officer. The officer could not immediately say what nationality Joergensen held. The fire has scorched over 38,000 acres (15,378 hectares) between the towns of Fort Garland and La Veta in southern Colorado, forcing more mandatory evacuations [...]

2018-10-15T06:23:22+00:00July 30th, 2018|0 Comments

ANALYSIS: ALL WILDFIRES ARE NOT ALIKE, BUT THE U.S. IS FIGHTING THEM THAT WAY

So far, the 2018 fire season has produced a handful of big fires in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado; conflagrations in Oklahoma and Kansas; and a fire bust in Alaska, along with garden-variety wildfires from Florida to Oregon. Some of those fires are in rural areas, some are in wildlands, and a few are in exurbs. Even in a time of new normals, this looks pretty typical. Fire starts are a little below the 10-year running average, and the amount of burned area is running above that average. But no one can predict what may happen in the coming months. California thought it had dodged a bullet in 2017, until a swarm of wildfires in late fall blasted through Napa and Sonoma counties, followed by the Big One – the Thomas fire, California’s largest on record, in Ventura and Santa Barbara. Every major fire rekindles another round [...]

2018-07-20T08:23:55+00:00July 17th, 2018|0 Comments

Increase in wildfires causing bad air days in US Northwest to get worse over the past 28 years

A pair of researchers with the University of Washington has found that an increase in wildfire size and duration over the past 28 years has led to worsening bad air days in the U.S. Northwest. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Crystal McClure and Daniel Jaffe describe their study and what their results mean for people living in affected areas. Over the past quarter-century, wildfires (unplanned fires burning in forests or other areas) in many parts of the western United States have become larger and longer-lasting than they were in earlier years. Many environmental scientists have suggested this is due to global warming. Prior research has shown that such fires carry fine particulate matter into the air, and that many people can be harmed by breathing such particles. Those with lung conditions such as COPD or asthma, for example, can suffer problems [...]

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

The Latest: California wildfire threatens 700 buildings

GUINDA, Calif. –  The Latest on wildfires burning in the Western United States (all times local): 8:30 p.m. A wildfire that's threatening 700 homes and buildings in rural Northern California continues to grow explosively as firefighters struggle in rough terrain to contain it. No homes have burned but the blaze is surging through sparsely populated areas of Yolo and Napa counties about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the state capitol of Sacramento. As of Monday night, flames had devoured 60,000 acres of tinder-dry grass, brush and oak. That's nearly 94 square miles (about 243 square kilometers) — nearly the size of Sacramento. The so-called County Fire erupted Sunday and at times has grown by 1,000 acres an hour. Smoke and ash are contributing to poor air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area and California wine country. Hot, dry conditions are fueling blazes in several [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:42+00:00July 3rd, 2018|0 Comments