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california fires

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A statewide emergency has been declared in California as wildfires, whipped up by fierce winds, continue to sweep through the area.

Tens of thousands of homes are under threat from the wildfires and some 180,000 people in the north have been ordered to leave their homes and roads around Santa Rosa were packed with cars as people tried to flee.

Another million people are expected to lose their supplies in the hours ahead.

The evacuation order encompasses a huge area of Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa.

The biggest blackouts in California’s history have already left a million people without electricity.

Power companies are trying to stop damaged cables from triggering new fires.

Sonoma has been ravaged by the Kincade Fire, which has burned through at least 30,000 acres of land.

Image source Wikipedia

California Fires: President Donald Trump Tours Camp Fire’s Damage

Thomas Fire Becomes Largest Blaze in California’s History

Thomas Fire: California Governor Jerry Brown Brands Wildfires as New Normal

Fears about the extent of the wildfires led PG&E to initiate a precautionary blackout expected to be the largest in state history.

PG&E said the power cuts would affect 940,000 households and businesses across 36 counties in northern California – hitting an estimated two million people.

In a statement, PG&E warned customers that they could be affected by a mass blackout, citing forecasts of potential extreme weather.

The warning came as the gas and electricity company faced scrutiny over its possible role in the fires.

The Kincade Fire in northern California began seven minutes after a nearby power line was damaged, but PG&E has not yet confirmed if the power glitch started the blaze.

PG&E is already seeking bankruptcy protection as it faces lawsuits over last year’s Camp Fire, which killed 85 people. The deadliest wildfire in the state’s history was sparked by ageing equipment owned by PG&E. It spawned billions of dollars in liability claims against the company.

In a video posted to Twitter on October 26, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the power cuts were “infuriating everyone, and rightfully so”.

“We are going to do our best to get through these high wind events… and get these lights back on and do everything in our power to make sure PG&E’s never in a position where they’re doing this to us again,” he said.

The Kincade Fire was about 10% contained as of October 27.

According to the state fire department, the fire was burning in remote, steep terrain, making access difficult.

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Photo Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has toured Camp Fire’s damage, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.

Named after Camp Creek Road, its place of origin, the fire started on November 8, 2018, in Butte County, and killed at least 71 people.

More than 1,000 people are reported to be missing, although officials say that figure could fluctuate.

Speaking in the town of Paradise, President Trump described the scene as “sad to see” and revisited his disputed claim poor forest management was to blame.

He said: “We do have to do management maintenance and we’ll be working also with environmental groups, I think everyone’s seen the light.”

According to experts, the main causes of the wildfires are the weather, climate change and population shifts.

On top of the Camp Fire, firefighters are also tackling several other blazes, including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles which has claimed at least three lives.

Meanwhile, scores of people have become sick after outbreaks of the norovirus at shelters and the air quality in northern California has been rated the world’s worst.

Heavy rain is forecast next week that could douse the flames but also bring mudslides and floods on hillsides stripped of vegetation.

Arriving in California, President Trump was greeted by Governor Jerry Brown and his successor Gavin Newsom, both of whom are Democrats and have sparred with the president over the wildfires.

Governor Brown wrote on Twitter: “Now is a time to pull together for the people of California.”

In Paradise, President Trump praised the efforts of local law enforcement, politicians and the teams searching for survivors on the ground.

Some locals held up pro-Trump signs, although one called him a “moron”.

California Fires Death Toll Rises to 31

Thomas Fire Becomes Largest Blaze in California’s History

Thomas Fire: California Governor Jerry Brown Brands Wildfires as New Normal

On November 16, the death toll rose to 71 after more bodies were found in Paradise, which has been all but destroyed by the fire.

Military troops are assisting forensics teams and cadaver dogs as they continue to search for human remains eight days on after the Camp Fire first broke out.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea put the number of people unaccounted for at 1,011, a sharp leap from the 631 reported just 24 hours earlier.

However, the sheriff described the list as “dynamic”,

He said: “The information I am providing you is raw data and we find there is the likely possibility that the list contains duplicate names.”

According to authorities, some of those on the list may be fine but unaware they have been reported missing, or unable to call.

The Camp Fire is now about 50% contained but fire officials say they may not have it fully under control until the end of the month.

Historically, California’s “wildfire season” started in summer and ran into early autumn – but experts have warned that the risk is now year-round.

 

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According to California police, more than 150 people are missing in wildfires that have ravaged the state’s northern wine region.

At least 17 people are now confirmed dead and more than 2,000 buildings have been destroyed by the fires which broke out on October 8.

Eleven of the deaths have been in Sonoma County.

One of the worst affected towns there is Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, where entire districts have been destroyed.

According to the Sonoma County sheriff’s office, 155 people were still unaccounted for, although that could be due to the chaotic pace of the evacuations.

Image source Wikimedia

California Wildfires Kill at Least 13 in Wine Country

California wildfires spark evacuations

California Sand Fire: Wildfires Prompt Evacuations Near Los Angeles

In neighboring Napa County, victims included 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his 98-year-old wife, Sarah, police said.

The wildfires are among the deadliest in California’s history and have sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 60 miles away.

According to officials, more than 17 fires had burned about 115,000 acres in the past 24 hours.

There was some good news when winds that had been fanning the flames eased, helping firefighters to bring some of the blazes under control.

In Santa Rosa, a Hilton hotel and a mobile home park were destroyed. Tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents have fled, authorities said.

At least four wineries had suffered “total or very significant losses”, Napa Valley Vintners said, with nine others reporting some damage to buildings or vineyards.

More than 91,000 homes and businesses are without power.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Sonoma, Napa and five other counties.

President Donald Trump has also approved a disaster declaration, allowing federal emergency aid to be disbursed.