California wildfires

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Big Bang Theory Star's Ranch Goes Up in Flames

Johnny Galecki's San Luis Obispo ranch destroyed by wildfire

(Newser) - A wildfire burning in California has engulfed some 1,600 acres—and a celebrity's home. The so-called Hill Fire raging in San Luis Obispo destroyed a ranch owned by Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki on Monday, reports TMZ . Galecki, who primarily lives at another location, was not present... More »

This State's 102M Dead Trees 'Should Be Concerning for Everyone'

California's wildfires are getting more common and more dangerous

(Newser) - In drought-stricken California, 36 million trees have died since May, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're part of 62 million trees that have died in the state since 2016 and 102 million trees that have died over the past six years. "It's not beyond the pale to... More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Recreational Drones Hindered Air Drops on Freeway Wildfire

It's becoming a familiar refrain

(Newser) - California's Interstate 15 was looking a little "post-apocalyptic" today in the aftermath of a wildfire that swept across the road yesterday and left burnt-out cars in its wake, notes Gizmodo . Nobody was hurt, fortunately, but those drivers will be thrilled to learn that firefighters were once again stymied... More »

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