Near hurricane force winds to whip CA wildfires into yet more devastation

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    Near hurricane force winds to whip CA wildfires into yet more devastation
    Cathy Fallon mourns the loss of her home in Paradise, CA. She stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses. They all survived. John Locher/AP

    With near hurricane force winds predicted for Tuesday, the most destructive wildfire in California history is nowhere near done with its catastrophic rampage.

    Northern California’s Camp Fire has already torched more than 6,400 homes and killed 29 people. If the death toll gets any worse, it will be the deadliest wildfire in California history, reported CNN Monday morning, November 12.


    “I’ll have nightmares for the rest of my life,” said Paradise resident Susan Miller, who drove through flame-lined streets to escape with her daughter.

    But the Camp Fire isn’t the only inferno ravaging California. Fierce winds are expected to fuel two major wildfires west of Los Angeles, including one that has already killed two people in Malibu.

    “In fact, the strongest Santa Ana winds for the south may come on Tuesday, with gusts to near hurricane force,” CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

    More than 13 million people are in critical danger in the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Glendale, Hennen said.

    Now, firefighters who lost their homes must set aside their grief and work marathon hours to save other residents’ lives and houses.

    More than 30 Butte County sheriff’s deputies reported for duty despite losing their homes, CNN affiliate KTXL reported.

    Colusa Police Sgt. Jarrod Hughes told KTXL that his Paradise home had been destroyed in the blaze. But he still put on his uniform and returned to work once he got his son to safety.

    “It’s my community, it’s where I grew up. It’s something I absolutely had to do,” Hughes said. “There was no question about it. It was, get my family to safety so I can get in and get back up there and help everybody else.”

    Catastrophic numbers
    • Camp Fire: The largest of the three major blazes has scorched more than 113,000 acres across NorCal. As of Monday morning, it was about 25% contained, according to Cal Fire, having destroyed 6,453 homes and 260 other structures.
    • Woolsey and Hill fires: In SoCal, the Woolsey Fire had spread to 85,500 acres and is about 15% contained. The nearby Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres and was 75% contained. Together, the fires destroyed 179 structures, but another 57,000 are threatened.
    • Mass evacuations: More than 300,000 have been evacuated statewide, the majority (170,000) in LA County.

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