California has witnessed wildfires before now. But this year’s wildfire is one of the most destructive wildfires in the history of California. This article explores some of the damages the fires have caused so far.
It has been recorded that in this year (2018) the Camp Fire has burned an area of 141,000 acres and the Woolsey Fire, an area of 98,362 acres. Ryan Zinke, U.S. Interior Secretary, called only the Camp Fire the worst fire that he had ever seen. NASA, who captured the event from the sky, averred that the fire is fueled by dry conditions and Santa Ana winds.
It has been estimated by an analyst with Citi Investment Research that damages by the fires could exceed $15 billion.
Deaths have, sadly, been recorded since the fire started. Authorities’ report on Thursday shows that the death toll rose to 66, 63 orchestrated by the Camp Fire and 3 by the Woolsey. Besides deaths, people are missing. According to Kory Honea, Butte County’s Sheriff, the number of missing people rose from 297 on Wednesday night to 631. The Camp Fire has destroyed 11,862 structures, including homes, while the Woolsey, 435 structures, leaving 57,000 in danger. Well over 50,000 people have evacuated their homes, with many of them having nowhere to go for proper shelter.
It was reported that Paradise, a town of well over twenty six thousand (26,000) people, in Butte County, has been pulverized. Suzanne Kaksonen, a girl who fled the flames with two birds of hers, said she’s been told she may have to wait six months before she can go back to Paradise. This is her word at a shelter set up next to a Walmart parking lot in Chico: “I don’t even care if there’s no home. I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going.”
As all this is going on, there has been an outbreak of norovirus at a shelter meant for people who have evacuated their homes. Norovirus, which commonly spreads when people are in close quarters, is highly contagious and causes diarrhea, fever and body aches. Lisa Almaguer, Butte County public health spokeswoman, confirmed the presence of norovirus by virtue of lab tests. The affected have been quarantined in an area separated from unaffected evacuees.
Mike Rogers, a CBS reporter, reported that a firefighter from Washington state was hit by a car while fighting the Woolsey Fire just after midnight, stating that his condition is unknown.
Fundraising has been ongoing. Two sisters visited CBS L.A. during the fundraiser to donate their last $20, their adversity notwithstanding. CBS Los Angeles teamed up with the Los Angeles Rams and the United Way to raise money for victims of the massive wildfires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and Wednesday’s day-long effort brought in more than $1.1 million.
Celebrities including Robin Thicke, Stephanie Weir, Pauley Perrette, Heather Tom and John McCook helped out at the phone bank, along with Galaxy player Daniel Steres and Rams legends Eric Dickerson and Jackie Slater.
Even though the telethon ended late Wednesday night, you can still donate.
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump has blamed the root of the fire on gross mismanagement of the forests. However, he isn’t oblivious of the blitz of the fire fighters, the pains of the evacuees and the families that have suffered deaths. His words run thus: “More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”
CBS News 1 and 2