California wildfires

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California Fire Now Bigger Than NYC

'Squirrely' winds are making firefighting difficult

(Newser) - One of several wildfires burning in southern California is now the fifth-biggest fire on record in the state and firefighters are losing ground: Containment of the Thomas fire slipped from 15% to 10% as wind speeds picked up Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fire, which has now spread... More »

California Governor Says Fires Are the 'New Normal'

Jerry Brown also says the U.S. needs 'heroic' effort to fight climate change

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown says deadly and destructive wildfires in winter are "the new normal." Brown on Saturday toured Ventura County neighborhoods ravaged by a weeklong wildfire that killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings. At a news conference, Brown said drought... More »

New Calif. Wildfire's Victims: Elite Horses

Lilac Fire adds to region's misery

(Newser) - California's newest wildfire tore through retirement communities built on golf courses and killed elite thoroughbred horses in its first destructive day. The new blaze in San Diego County means a huge swath of Southern California is now in flames after December's shockingly dry, hot, and windy conditions brought... More »

Against an Inferno, Man Rescues the Smallest Creature

Wild rabbit saved

(Newser) - Whether you consider it brave or foolish, it's tough not to consider it incredible. NBC News has video of a driver who pulled over on California's Highway 1 near La Conchita to save a wild rabbit from the blazing wildfire that's painting the backdrop orange. As the... More »

California: 'The Forecast for Tomorrow Is Purple'

Wind, fire dangers hit unprecedented level

(Newser) - Southern California has felt yellow wind, orange wind, and red wind. But never purple wind. Until now. The color-coded system showing the expected strength of the winds driving the region's fierce wildfires has reached uncharted territory, pushing past red, which means "high," into the color that means... More »

Southern California Wildfire Reaches Pacific

Ring of fire surrounds former Johnny Cash home

(Newser) - Terrifying wildfires are continuing to rage in southern California, where the Thomas fire in Ventura County reached the Pacific Ocean Tuesday after spreading to at least 50,000 acres, crossing oil fields and freeways. The fire, which caused Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency, has caused mass... More »

Southern Calif. Wildfire Growing 'Exponentially'

Thousands have fled homes in Ventura County

(Newser) - Ferocious winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that forced thousands of homes to evacuate and could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000, authorities say. The blaze broke out Monday and grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed, consuming... More »

Parents Still Don't Know Calif. Wildfire Killed Both Kids

Kai died while trying to flee; Kressa lost her life 3 weeks later

(Newser) - As California's wine country begins the slow process of rebuilding in the wake of the wildfires that devastated the region in early October, for one family, picking up the pieces will be unthinkably difficult. The Los Angeles Times revisits the Shepherds, a family of four who experienced tragedy in... More »

Calif.'s Other Big Problem Amid Blazes: 'Fire Devils'

Fire tornadoes fueled by powerful winds were strong enough to flip cars, damage homes

(Newser) - Like earthquakes can unleash tsunamis, strong winds and the California wildfires apparently set loose another type of natural disaster: fire tornadoes. And the San Francisco Chronicle says the fire-filled tornadoes that hit Santa Rosa last week, driven by nearly 80mph winds, wreaked major havoc, tossing cars, pulling trees out of... More »

Burned by California Wildfires: Local Marijuana Industry

At least 31 pot farms have been destroyed, with many more damaged—and no crop insurance

(Newser) - The same fires that have destroyed Northern California's wineries have also taken a toll on the region's marijuana farms, which were about to begin an important harvest less than three months before the nation's largest recreational pot market opens for business in January. At least 31 marijuana... More »

Teen Forced to Flee Wildfire on Foot Doesn't Make It

Kai Shepherd became separated from parents, sister

(Newser) - The death toll now stands at 40 in the wildfires that have been raging in California for more than a week. One of the many tragic stories to emerge from the catastrophe is that of 14-year-old Kai Shepherd, who became separated from his family and burned to death as they... More »

From Ashes of Calif. Home, Mom's Dog Comes Running

Izzy somehow survived after family fled wildfire in the middle of the night

(Newser) - Jack Weaver and brother-in-law Patrick Widen skirted police barricades, and traversed a creek and hilly roads to save Weaver's mother the grim task of recovering the family's beloved dog Izzy. Katherine Weaver was convinced Izzy died in a ferocious wildfire that sent them fleeing, Katherine still in her... More »

In Midst of California Fire Wreckage, an Eerie Sight

Mailman continues to deliver mail, by customer request, to destroyed neighborhood

(Newser) - The wildfires raging in California have killed at least 31 people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes, including that of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz . The Washington Post reports that the death toll has reached "historically grim heights," with entire neighborhoods gutted and authorities facing the gruesome task... More »

Charles Schulz's Home Destroyed in California Inferno

Home of late 'Peanuts' creator burned to ground; widow escapes, son's home also destroyed

(Newser) - The home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz burned to the ground in the deadly California wildfires, but his widow escaped, her stepson said Thursday. Jean Schulz, 78, evacuated before flames engulfed her hillside home Monday and is staying with a daughter, Monte Schulz says. The Schulzes built the split-level home... More »

As Fire Raged, Calif. Couple Hid in Pool for 6 Hours

Death toll now at 31; emergency far from over

(Newser) - The confirmed death toll from the California wildfires is now at least 31—and it would probably be two higher if Jan and John Pascoe hadn't remembered their neighbors' pool. The couple, trapped as flames surrounded their mountaintop Santa Rosa home, ended up spending six hours sheltering in the... More »

California Wildfires Set to Get Even Worse

'It's going to continue to get worse before it gets better'

(Newser) - Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45mph with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to descend on the areas north of San... More »

Husband, 100, Dies Halfway to Wife's Room in Calif. Wildfires

'They were happy right up until the last minute,' son says

(Newser) - At least 17 people have been confirmed dead in the devastating wildfires raging in California —including a couple who died together after having been married for 75 years. Charles Rippey, 100, and Sara Rippey, 98, died Sunday night when a fast-moving wildfire engulfed their Napa County home. Mike Rippey,... More »

'Right Now We Need to Grieve' in Sonoma County

At least 10 dead as fires rage in wine country

(Newser) - "We are a resilient county; we will come back from this," Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane said Monday after devastating wildfires swept through the region. "But right now we need to grieve." Seven people died in her county, making the total at least 10 across northern... More »

As LA's Biggest Wildfire Blazes, Hundreds Flee

La Tuna wildfire near Burbank has already burned 5K acres amid 'erratic' winds

(Newser) - Houston is underwater, but Los Angeles is on fire as the largest wildfire in its history burned at least 5,000 acres and forced hundreds of people to evacuate amid scorching temperatures and unpredictable winds of up to 50mph. "The La Tuna Canyon Fire is an emergency that requires... More »

How Hot Is It in LA? Record- Breaking Hot (and Dangerous)

'Potentially life-threatening,' says National Weather Service

(Newser) - A blistering heat wave has broken a 131-year-old record in Los Angeles. The National Weather Service reports that the temperature hit 96 degrees Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, beating a record of 95 degrees for the date set in 1886, the AP reports. Other records for the day fell at... More »

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