Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

California wildfires leave several dead, force thousands to flee

With California's Raging Fires, Fear And Devastation Trump Says Disastrous California Wildfires Caused 'Catastrophic Destruction'
Lora Ball | 12 November, 2018, 10:24

"The president's message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines", the statement read.

All told, an estimated 300,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, a lot of them in Southern California.

Images from Paradise have showed the sky filled with acrid smoke, nearly blotting out the sun. It has killed at least 29 people. The fire is now at 20 percent containment.

A one-day lull in the dry, northeasterly winds ended at midmorning and authorities warned that the gusts would continue through Tuesday. The majority of those residents are in Los Angeles County, where 170,000 were evacuated.

The Camp Fire burned down more than 6,700 homes and businesses in Paradise, more structures than any other California wildfire on record.

"Brian Rice, president of California Professional Firefighters, said, ".almost 60 percent of California forests are under federal management.

The fire hopscotched around the Oak Park neighborhood of 70-year-old Bill Bengston, leaving most houses untouched. Natural-color satellite photos show thick smoke from the fires around Paradise other nearby towns. Authorities said they have reports of 110 people still missing in the area affected by the blaze. Authorities expect that strong northeastern winds will start up again in the evening, potentially spreading across one of California's biggest lakes into the city of Oroville.

Officials said the bodies of five people were found in their burned-out homes and the sixth was found in a vehicle in northern California's Camp Fire, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters on Sunday evening. "You can imagine dropping a cup of water into these winds. It completely ignores the dynamic of what's going on around us", he told the Chronicle.

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It sent thousands fleeing after mandatory evacuations in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. But she said she always feared a wildfire since she moved there 15 years ago, especially during recent years in which there's been nearly no rain.

Sheen, 78, wrote on Twitter: "Emilio, Ramone, Renee, Charlie, we're fine".

Evacuation orders included the entire town of Malibu, which is home to 13,000 residents.

Authorities are anxious that embers from the Woolsey Fire could reach unburnt buildings, spark new fires or add to the blaze, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

Malibu residents clean up the road after the destruction of the Woolsey fire on Saturday.

"The fact of the matter is if you look at the state of California, climate challenge is happening statewide", Osby said, adding that "it is going to be here for the foreseeable future".

As the state gets warmer each year, the threat of wildfires damaging property and taking lives grows more imminent.

Firefighters took advantage of a brief calm overnight to make headway against the multiple blazes, but conditions were expected to be hellish on Sunday with winds reaching as high as 110km/h. "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

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