California wildfires

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2 Charged With Stealing From Firefighters Battling Calif. Blaze

The suspects' own shoe prints helped bust them

(Newser) - What better way to thank the firefighters risking their lives to put out a forest fire in your community than by robbing them blind? Such is the case for US Forest Service firefighters as they arrived at a landfill Wednesday morning outside of Clearlake, Calif., ready to start working to... More »

Wildfire Takes Out Iconic Route 66 Diner

Summit Inn burns to ground in California's Blue Cut blaze

(Newser) - A popular Route 66 diner frequented in its heyday by the likes of Elvis Presley and Clint Eastwood has gone up in smoke. The Summit Inn is the latest victim of the Blue Cut wildfire raging through California's San Bernardino County, the Los Angeles Times reports, destroyed by the... More »

Wildfire Forces 80K to Flee —Before Start of Fire Season

Southern California fire could get much worse before it gets better

(Newser) - Louisiana isn't the only state going through an epic natural disaster. California's latest wildfire has forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate and burned through about 9,000 acres and counting, reports the Los Angeles Times . The evacuation orders cover more than 34,000 homes in... More »

Man Arrested for 'Horrific' California Arson

Lower Lake fire has destroyed almost 200 homes

(Newser) - A man was arrested Monday for allegedly sparking a wildfire that exploded over the weekend, destroying more than 175 homes, businesses, and other structures in a Northern California town, authorities say. Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin says Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, was arrested Monday on 17 counts of arson and... More »

At Root of Deadly California Wildfire: Faulty Hot Tub

Calif. homeowners could be ordered to pay part of $57M it took to fight it

(Newser) - A hot tub's faulty wiring ignited one of California's most destructive wildfires, a blaze that killed four people, sent four firefighters to the hospital, and destroyed more than 1,300 homes last year, officials say. In addition, a fifth person who was last seen in his home before... More »

Illegal Campfire Burns Area the Size of San Francisco

1 man has died in fire-related accident

(Newser) - It started with a small, illegal campfire. Now an area the size of San Francisco has been scorched in a deadly blaze ripping through California's Monterey County since July 22. State fire officials announced the cause of the blaze, dubbed the Soberanes Fire, in a closed area of Garrapata... More »

Massive Calif. Wildfire Moving Like 'Freight Train'

Fire officials say out-of-control Sand fire near LA has now spread to 33K acres

(Newser) - More than 1,600 firefighters fought an uncontrollable wildfire Sunday in California's Santa Clarita Valley, an inferno that fire officials say grew three times larger over the weekend due to hot, arid conditions and winds up to 20mph, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times report. More than 33,... More »

Husband Died Shielding Wife in California Wildfire

Elderly couple died trying to flee blaze

(Newser) - Byron McKaig was a devoted husband until the very end. The 81-year-old Anglican priest perished alongside his 90-year-old wife, Gladys, in central California's Lake Isabella wildfire last week, and a neighbor tells the Los Angeles Times that he appears to have died trying to protect his wife. Bill Johnson... More »

Dozens of Homes Burn in Calif. Brush Fire

Fast-moving fire has destroyed at least 80 buildings

(Newser) - Dozens of homes burned to the ground as a wildfire raged over ridges and tore through rural communities in central California, authorities say. The streaking blaze that burned at least 80 homes and other buildings northeast of Bakersfield around Lake Isabella came just as many others across Western states were... More »

Car Wreck Sparks Brushfire, Turns LA-Area Hills 'Into Torches'

Thousands forced to evacuate around Calabasas

(Newser) - A car crash that downed power lines turned the hills northwest of Los Angeles into torches, forcing thousands from their homes and putting entire neighborhoods at risk in the prosperous semi-rural enclave of Calabasas, reports the AP . Fifty-foot-high flames erupted on the ridges and embers turned trees into candles Saturday... More »

California Fire Shuts Down Part of the 101

'This is a very dynamic fire'

(Newser) - A wind-whipped brush fire has kept a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway closed for hours and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes northwest of Los Angeles. The Ventura County Fire Department said the brush fire that started northwest of the city of Ventura spread to 1,200 acres Saturday.... More »

Violent Offenders May Join Inmate Firefighting Teams

Arsonists still barred from Calif. program

(Newser) - California officials are considering allowing inmates with violent backgrounds to work outside prison walls fighting wildfires, and the idea is generating concerns about public safety. The state has about 3,800 inmate firefighters with no history of violent crimes. But that's down from about 4,400 in previous years,... More »

Cali Wildfires Kill 1, Destroy 1.4K Homes

And thousands more homes are being threatened

(Newser) - A new wildfire in Northern California has killed one person and destroyed or damaged 10 homes in Monterey County, a week after two other blazes killed five people and destroyed at least 1,400 homes, fire officials said today. The blaze burning about 2 miles north of the community of... More »

Calif. Fires Claim 2 More Lives

Power lines may have caused deadly blaze

(Newser) - Officials searched the burned-out remains of homes in northern California yesterday, looking for a former police reporter and several other people who authorities fear were killed in a fast-moving blaze in that part of the state. About 170 miles southeast, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, two bodies were found inside... More »

This 'Garden of Eden' Is Now Blackened Dust

Harbin Hot Springs among businesses torched by Valley Fire

(Newser) - The hot springs resort that fell victim to a raging wildfire was among the oldest hot springs of its kind in California—and just happened to have a clothing-optional policy, reports USA Today . Footage of the nonprofit holistic center Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown—which one visitor compared to the... More »

Wildfire Aftermath: 'That I Left Her There, It Haunts Me'

Barbara McWilliams had MS, told caretaker she didn't want to leave

(Newser) - Barbara McWilliams told her caretaker she didn't want to leave her home near Middletown, Calif., despite a nearby wildfire . The world traveler and sharp-minded woman with advanced multiple sclerosis said she would be fine. The decision ended up costing the 72-year-old her life . Her body was found late Sunday... More »

Family Videos Crazy Escape Through Wildfire

They flee Anderson Springs in California

(Newser) - As firefighters battle three wildfires in California, a video posted to YouTube provides a sense of what it's like to drive through that craziness. It shows a family from Anderson Springs in Lake County fleeing at night and is downright "apocalyptic" in parts, notes KTLA5 . They made it... More »

'Mind-Boggling' Calif. Wildfire Turns Deadly

One dead, at least 400 homes destroyed in Lake, Napa counties

(Newser) - Fire officials say one person is dead as California's fastest wildfire in recent history continues to race across the north end of the state. It's the blaze experts had feared all summer: At least 400 homes have been destroyed in Lake and Napa counties, with flames initially ripping... More »

Thousands Flee as Wildfires Sprint Across California

State of emergency declared

(Newser) - An explosive wildfire raced across several rural communities in Northern California, charring more than 60 square miles over a matter of hours, chasing thousands of people from their homes and sending four firefighters to the hospital with second-degree burns. The fire erupted in Lake County, about 100 miles north of... More »

US Quietly Working on Ways to Commandeer Drones

A test was even attempted on New Year's Eve, says a source

(Newser) - Federal regulations state that drones fly no higher than 400 feet and keep at least five miles from an airport. But violations abound , and police and federal agencies fear their potential for a nefarious use—against an airplane, or on a Times Square crowd, for instance. Sources tell Reuters those... More »

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