Friday, August 19, 2022



California’s Camp Fire death toll rises to 48, only 35% contained

Rob Schumacher/The Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA

As firefighters battle the Camp Fire Wednesday in Butte County north of Sacramento, more human remains will likely be found as searchers comb through rubble and ashes in the destroyed town of Paradise.

Authorities have requested that 100 National Guard troops join cadaver dogs, mobile morgues and anthropology teams in the grim search and recovery of human remains, reported CNN Wednesday morning.

In Southern California, firefighters still are battling the Woolsey Fire, which so far has left two people dead in Malibu.

In Northern California, forecasters have said the winds fueling the Camp Fire would slowly begin to decrease Wednesday and give firefighters a reprieve.

A look at the wildfires’ astonishing numbers:
Camp Fire: The Camp Fire has destroyed 7,600 homes and scorched 130,000 acres in Northern California. As of Tuesday, the inferno was 35% contained.
Woolsey Fire: This Southern California blaze has torched 97,620 acres and destroyed at least 483 structures. As of Wednesday morning, the inferno was 47% contained.
Hill Fire: A second Southern California blaze has burned 4,531 acres and was 92% contained as of Tuesday night.
Rising death toll: There have been 50 deaths statewide, with the vast majority in Northern California. Southern California’s Woolsey Fire has claimed two lives.
A devastating week for the Golden State: More than 230,000 acres have burned in California in the past week. That’s larger than the cities of Chicago and Boston combined. And in 30 days, firefighters have battled more than 500 blazes, said Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency.

While the causes of the Camp and Woolsey fires have not been determined, state regulators are investigating two utility companies that reported incidents shortly before the two fires started last Thursday. Almost 15 minutes before the Camp Fire began near Pulga, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it experienced a transmission line outage about a mile northeast of the town.

In Ventura County, where the Woolsey Fire began, Southern California Edison reported that a circuit relayed about 2 minutes before the fire started Thursday afternoon. It happened “near E Street/Alfa Road” – the same intersection where Cal Fire said the Woolsey Fire began.

But the utility said, “At this point, we have no indication from fire agency personnel that SCE utility facilities may have been involved in the start of the fire.”

More than 9,000 firefighters are battling wildfires across the state, many from out of state – including from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Georgia.


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