Anxious Paradise Evacuees Seek Return To Neighborhoods Destroyed In Camp Fire

Saul Bowman
November 15, 2018

About 100 people are still missing in the deadliest wildfire in California's history.

Although President Donald Trump tweeted without evidence on Saturday that "gross mismanagement of the forests" was the reason for the "massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California", experts have pointed to high winds that helped flames spread quickly, and noted the role of climate change in the risky fires, reported The Mercury News.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, the company reported an incident to state regulator the California Public Utilities Commission on November 8, after they discovered a power failure on one of their transmission lines in Butte Country, the area roughly 300 kilometres north of San Francisco where the blaze began.

Honea said his office had received more than 1,500 requests for "welfare checks" from people concerned about the fate of their loved ones.

Winds Tuesday weren't as brisk, something forecasters said should be the case for the next few days.

Honea said 150 additional search personnel were due to arrive in the area, reinforcing 13 coroner-led recovery teams.

"California is vulnerable - not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think" he wrote.

Authorities fear more dead will be found as searchers dig through rubble and ashes in Paradise, a town once home to 27,000 residents, levelled by the blaze.

The fires: There are now 228 people missing and 42 dead, making the Camp fire in the north even more lethal than the Griffith Park disaster of 1933.

At the other end of the state, firefighters made progress against a massive blaze that has killed two people in star-studded Malibu and destroyed well over 400 structures in Southern California.


On Friday, Trump approved an emergency declaration for the state.

At a separate news event on Tuesday, Honea stressed that the speed at which the fire had spread had also made it hard for resource-strapped officials to get the word out.

One of the town's two elementary schools was totally destroyed by the Camp Fire.

Workers check for gas lines amid the damaged homes from the Woolsey Fire on Filaree Heights Road. "The fire was unprecedented, overwhelming, so a lot of people got caught". There was fire on both sides of the vehicle. Officials are working on a repopulation plan for the Paradise area evacuees, which will start with a brief visit of their property to survey their homes that burned to the ground and a chance to get some closure.

Haynes said his home survived. An estimated 50,000 people remained under evacuation orders.

By Tuesday, the killer blaze dubbed the Camp Fire had blackened 50,500 hectares of drought-parched scrub, up 3,237 hectares from the night before, but crews had carved containment lines around almost a third of the fire's expanding perimeter. And in the past 30 days, firefighters have battled more than 500 blazes, said Cal Fire, the state's forestry and fire protection agency.

On Wednesday, the inferno was 47 percent contained. In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire are continuing to burn tens of thousands of acres.

Rains aren't expected to hit the parched area until Thanksgiving next week, according to the National Weather Service.

"That number is going to rise significantly, " Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

The killer blaze, fueled by thick, drought-desiccated scrub, has capped 2 back-to-back catastrophic wildfire seasons in California that scientists largely attribute to prolonged drought they say is symptomatic of climate change.

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