Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

‘It’s not over yet:’ High winds threaten progress made fighting California fires

Westworldchurch1 HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Church Only Set Structure to Survive Woolsey Fire Twitter
Lora Ball | 13 November, 2018, 10:15

The worst of the blazes was in northern California, where the number of people killed in that fire alone matched the toll in the deadliest wildfire on record in the state.

The Camp fire - one of the state's deadliest - virtually obliterated the town of Paradise, home to more than 26,000 people.

Both fires, as well as the Hill Fire which broke out close to Thousand Oaks -the city hit by a deadly mass shooting on Wednesday - continue to rage, with gusty winds making it hard for firefighters to bring the blaze under-control.

In southern California, a pair of fires erupted last week - the Woolsey Fire and the nearby Hill Fire. That blaze virtually burned the town of Paradise to the ground, destroying thousands of homes and structures.

At the southern end of the state, the "Woolsey Fire" has destroyed mansions and mobile homes alike in the coastal celebrity resort of Malibu, where the body count has been limited to two victims found in a vehicle on a private driveway.

The fire grew to more than 143 square miles (370 square kilometers) and was only 20 percent contained.

Sir Rod Stewart has taken to Twitter to blast Donald Trump over his "accusatory" tweet about the Californian wildfires.

That fire already ranked as the most destructive on record in California, having leveled more than 7,100 homes and other buildings since it erupted on Thursday in the Sierra foothills of Butte County, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco.

University of Alberta fire scientist Mike Flanigan earlier this year told The Associated Press that the hotter and drier the weather, the easier it is for fires to start, spread and burn more intensely.

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Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that identifying human remains in the fire's aftermath would be "very difficult". Shares of insurance companies covering homes and businesses in California also fell, with Allstate Corp., Travelers Companies Inc., Chubb Ltd. and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. each down more than 1 per cent.

With blazes burning in both Northern and Southern California, firefighters on the front lines are being pushed to the brink, many working 24-hour shifts to bring the infernos under control, said Batallion Chief Lucas Spellman of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

Crews on the scenes of the fires are combing through blackened ruins of homes.

In a post on his website, Young said he hoped the calamitous fires would urged people to take action on the impact of climate change.

Together with the smaller Hill fire, which spans 4,531 acres, the Woolsey fire has so far destroyed 179 structures, but fire officials say another 57,000 are threatened.

Caitlyn Jenner's Malibu home survived the fire, despite TMZ reports on Friday that said it had burnt down.

"I want to recover as many remains as we possibly can, as soon as we can".

"Right now, what is needed is, really, support", Rice said.

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