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  1. #1
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    California wildfire update : 59 killed and 130 missing [Update #8]

    One of three major wildfires roaring though California has burned its way into state history as the most destructive blaze on record in terms of structure loss, with more than 6,700 structures gone in two days, according to Cal Fire, the state's fire-fighting agency.

    The large Camp Fire in Northern California, which obliterated 80% to 90% of the homes in one town, has left at least nine people dead, officials said Friday. Kory Honea, the Butte County sheriff, said 35 people have been reported missing in the Camp Fire.

    The fast-moving wildfires in the state have destroyed thousands of structures and prompted thousands of residents to flee, sometimes through jam-packed flame-lined streets that forced evacuees to chose whether to try to drive to safety or to get out and run.
    The Camp Fire left the mayor of Paradise, population 26,000, in shock.

    "There's really not much left. There are very few homes still standing and we've been in multiple different neighborhoods this afternoon," Mayor Jody Jones said. She estimated only 10 to 20% of homes are left.

    Four people were found dead in vehicles that were overcome by flames and one body was discovered near the vehicles, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said. The other victims were found near or inside homes that burned.

    Two major fires in Southern California are just miles from the bar where 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, and evacuations were ordered for nearby Malibu, a seaside city popular with celebrities.

    Authorities have received reports of two fatalities in the city of Malibu, and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office said it was working to confirm whether they are related to the wildfires.

    Fanned by high winds and fueled by low humidity and dry vegetation, the fires spread rapidly Thursday and overnight into Friday. The threat continued Friday, with millions of Californians under "red flag" warnings portending windy arid and warm conditions that pose extreme fire risks.

    Read more on https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/09/u...nia/index.html
    Last edited by MenInG; 10th November 2018 at 09:09.


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  2. #2
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    Seen some videos of people driving through these on TV and looks very scary


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  3. #3
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    CNN) — The death toll in the Camp Fire in Northern California has risen to 23 with the discovery Saturday of 14 more sets of remains, Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea told reporters.

    Honea said 10 of the victims were recovered from the fire-ravaged town of Paradise. He said seven people were found in homes, and three were outside. Of the remaining four, two were in cars and two were in houses in an area known as Concow.

    Saturday brought a break in the fierce winds that have whipped the three major wildfires in California that have destroyed a record number of buildings and displaced more than 300,000 people.

    But officials know the gusts will be back Sunday and most evacuation orders remain in place.

    "Mother Nature has given us a short reprieve ... but we know tomorrow Mother Nature's gonna turn her fan back on and the winds are going to start blowing," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters. He said he cautioned his firefighters and the public not to be lulled by the better weather Saturday.

    Related Article: Why the California wildfires are spreading so quickly

    "Stay vigilant," he said.

    Fire has killed nine people in Northern California and possibly two in Southern California. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Chief John Benedict said the charred remains of two people were found in a car in Malibu, but homicide investigators were still working the case.

    Winds could gust as high as 30 to 50 mph, depending on elevation, on Sunday, officials said. Much of the state hasn't seen rain in more than a month, according to CNN meteorologists, and the dry vegetation has only served to fuel the fires.

    https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/11/10....google.com%2F


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  4. #4
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    Looks like a scene from some apolcalypse movie. The biggest problem is strong winds pushing the fire forward.

  5. #5
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    California fires: Authorities, relatives step up search for at least 228 missing

    With hearses standing by, crews have stepped up the search for bodies in the smoking ruins of Paradise, and relatives desperately looked for at least 228 missing loved ones, as wind-whipped wildfires raged at both ends of California.

    The statewide death toll stood at 31 and appeared certain to rise.

    At least five search teams were working in Paradise — a town of 27,000 that was largely destroyed on Thursday — and surrounding Northern California communities.

    Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify victims of the most destructive wildfire in Californian history.

    By early afternoon, one of the two black hearses stationed in Paradise had picked up another set of remains.

    The search also went on for the missing.

    "I still haven't heard anything," said Laurie Teague, who was looking for her 80-year-old stepfather, Herb Alderman.

    She and her brother called shelters, hospitals, the sheriff's department and the coroner's office.

    "He has friends in that area. I'm hoping one of them grabbed him and took him to shelter," Ms Teague said.

    Officials and relatives held out hope many of those unaccounted for were safe and simply had no mobile phones or other ways to contact loved ones.

    Sol Bechtold drove from shelter to shelter looking for his mother, Joanne Caddy, a 75-year-old widow whose house burned down along with the rest of her neighbourhood in Magalia, just north of Paradise. She lived alone and did not drive.

    Mr Bechtold posted a flyer on social media, pinned it to bulletin boards at shelters and showed her picture around to evacuees, asking if anyone recognised her.

    As he drove through the smoke and haze to yet another shelter, he said, "I'm also under a dark emotional cloud. Your mother's somewhere and you don't know where she's at. You don't know if she's safe".

    "I've got to stay positive. She's a strong, smart woman."

    More than 8,000 firefighters in all battled three large wildfires burning across nearly 1,040 square kilometres in northern and southern California, with out-of-state crews continuing to arrive and gusty winds starting up again.

    The worst of the blazes was in northern California, where the number of people killed in that fire alone, at least 29, matched the toll in the deadliest wildfire on record in the state.

    Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county was bringing in more rescue workers and consulted anthropologists from California State University at Chico because, in some cases, investigators have been able to recover only bones and bone fragments.

    The devastation was so complete in some neighbourhoods that, "It's very difficult to determine whether or not there may be human remains there", Mr Honea said.

    Authorities were also bringing in a DNA lab and encouraged people with missing relatives to submit samples to aid in identifying the dead after the blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, nearly all of them homes.

    Firefighters made modest overnight gains against the blaze, which grew slightly to 440 square kilometres from the day before but was 25 per cent contained, up from 20 per cent, according to the state fire agency, Cal Fire.

    But Cal Fire spokesman Bill Murphy warned gusty winds predicted for Monday could spark "explosive fire behaviour".

    "We're at a pivotal point now," another Cal Fire official, David Clark, said.

    Two people were also found dead in a wildfire in southern California, where flames tore through Malibu mansions and working-class Los Angeles suburbs alike.

    The severely burned bodies were discovered in a long residential driveway in celebrity-studded Malibu, where residents forced from their homes included Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Guillermo del Toro and Martin Sheen.

    Flames also besieged Thousand Oaks, the southern California city in mourning over the massacre of 12 people in a shooting rampage at a country music bar on Wednesday night.

    Fire officials said the larger of the region's two fires, the one that hit Malibu, grew to 337 square kilometres and was 10 per cent contained.

    The count of lost structures in both southern California fires climbed to nearly 180, authorities said, and that number seemed certain to rise.

    The large mobile home community of Seminole Springs, in the rugged Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu, appeared devastated.

    About 300,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, most of them in southern California.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-...ctims/10487194

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    California wildfires: Fears strong winds will fan flames

    The death toll from the devastating California wildfires has risen to 31, with hundreds of people still missing, and thousands left homeless.

    Some residents were hoping to return home, but there are fears today of strong winds fanning the flames and driving them back into already decimated neighbourhoods.

    An estimated quarter of a million people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major fires in the state.

    Ten search teams are working in Paradise — a town of 27,000 that was largely incinerated last week — and in surrounding communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

    Authorities called in a DNA lab and teams of anthropologists to help identify victims

    Statewide, 150,000 remained displaced as more than 8000 fire crews battled wildfires that have scorched 1040 square kilometres, with out-of-state crews continuing to arrive.

    Whipping winds and tinder-dry conditions threaten more areas through the rest of the week, fire officials warned.

    "This is truly a tragedy that all Californians can understand and respond to," Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters.

    Brown, who has declared a state of emergency, said California is requesting aid from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has blamed "poor" forest management for the fires.

    Brown said federal and state governments must do more forest management but that climate change is the greater source of the problem.

    "And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years," he said.

    Drought and warmer weather attributed to climate change, and the building of homes deeper into forests have led to longer and more destructive wildfire seasons in California.

    While California officially emerged from a five-year drought last year, much of the northern two-thirds of the state is abnormally dry.

    Firefighters battling fire with shovels and bulldozers, flame retardant and hoses expected wind gusts up to 64km/h overnight Sunday.

    In Southern California , firefighters beat back a new round of winds Sunday and the fire's growth and destruction are believed to have been largely stopped.

    Malibu celebrities and mobile-home dwellers in nearby mountains were slowly learning whether their homes had been spared or reduced to ash. Two people were killed and the fire had destroyed nearly 180 structures.

    Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby stressed there were numerous hotspots and plenty of fuel that had not yet burned, but at sunset he said there had been huge successes despite "a very challenging day."

    Celebrities whose coastal homes were damaged or destroyed in a Southern California wildfire or were forced to flee from the flames expressed sympathy and solidarity with less-famous people hurt worse by the state's deadly blazes, and gave their gratitude to firefighters who kept them safe.

    Actor Gerard Butler said on Instagram that his Malibu home was "half-gone," adding he was "inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters."

    Flames also besieged Thousand Oaks, the Southern California city in mourning over the massacre of 12 people in a shooting rampage at a country music bar on Wednesday night.

    In Northern California, where more than 6700 buildings have been destroyed, the scope of the devastation was beginning to set in even as the blaze raged on.

    Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county consulted teams of anthropologists because, in some cases, investigators have been able to recover only bones and bone fragments.

    In some neighbourhoods "it's very difficult to determine whether or not there may be human remains there," Honea said.

    Public safety officials toured the Paradise area to begin discussing the recovery process. Much of what makes the city function is gone.

    "Paradise was literally wiped off the map," said Tim Aboudara, a representative for International Association of Fire Fighters.

    He said at least 36 firefighters lost their own homes, most in the Paradise area.

    "Anytime you're a firefighter and your town burns down, there's a lot of feelings and a lot of guilt and a lot of concern about both what happened and what the future looks like," he said.

    "Every story that we've heard coming through has been that way, like 'I wish I could have done more, What's going to happen to our community, Where are my kids going to go to school?'"

    Others continued the desperate search for friends or relatives, calling evacuation centres, hospitals, police and the coroner's office.

    Sol Bechtold drove from shelter to shelter looking for his mother, Joanne Caddy, a 75-year-old widow whose house burned down along with the rest of her neighbourhood in Magalia, just north of Paradise. She lived alone and did not drive.

    As he drove through the smoke and haze to yet another shelter, he said, "I'm also under a dark emotional cloud. Your mother's somewhere and you don't know where she's at. You don't know if she's safe."

    The 29 dead in Northern California matched the deadliest single fire on record, a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, though a series of wildfires in Northern California's wine country last fall killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes.

    Firefighters made progress against the blaze, holding containment at 25 percent on Sunday, but they were bracing for gusty winds predicted into Monday morning that could spark "explosive fire behaviour," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Bill Murphy said.

    Fire officials are bracing for potentially more fires in Southern California's inland region as high winds and critically dry conditions were expected to persist into next week.

    "We are really just in the middle of this protracted weather event, this fire siege," Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said.

    He said officials were moving resources and preparing for "the next set of fires" as winds are expected to pick up. The chief warned that fire conditions will continue until the parched state sees rain.

    https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/11/...5-two-dead-car

  8. #8
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    Authorities searching through the blackened aftermath of California's deadliest wildfire Wednesday released the names of some 130 people who are unaccounted, including many in their 80s and 90s, and dozens more could still be unaccounted for. Officials in Northern California said Tuesday that search crews had found six more bodies, bringing the death toll from the so-called Camp Fire to 56 and the statewide total to 59.

    As the names of the missing were made public, additional crews joined the search. "We want to be able to cover as much ground as quickly as we possibly can," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. "This is a very difficult task."

    A sheriff's department spokeswoman, Megan McMann, acknowledged that the list of the missing was incomplete. She said detectives were concerned about being overwhelmed with calls from relatives if the entire list were released.

    A new lawsuit blames the fire on a major utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, for allegedly failing to inspect and properly maintain its power lines. In a statement, PG&E said customer safety was its "highest priority" and it's focusing on helping first responders.

    Five hundred miles south, firefighters have made progress battling the "Woolsey Fire." Some neighborhoods were reopened, and residents were able to see if their home survived.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/ca...-live-updates/


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