California wildfires

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In Unprecedented Move, Power Shut Off in California Amid Fire Fears

45mph wind gusts predicted in Northern California

(Newser) - Northern California's biggest utility has shut off power to tens of thousands of customers in an unprecedented step to prevent wildfires amid rising winds and official warnings of extreme fire danger, the AP reports. Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the lights in California's wine country and... More »

Trucks Abandoned as Wildfire Rages Around Freeway

'Oh my God, I want to go!'

(Newser) - An explosive wildfire closed down dozens of miles of a major California freeway only weeks after a nearby blaze left neighborhoods in ruins and killed eight people. The Delta Fire erupted Wednesday afternoon and within hours had devoured nearly 8 square miles of timber and brush on both sides of... More »

Calif. Fire Chief: Verizon Slowed Our Data as We Fought Blaze

Led to 'significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services,' lawsuit declaration says

(Newser) - Anxiety over how the absence of net neutrality rules could affect things has manifested itself in California. Ars Technica reports on a new lawsuit that includes a statement from Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden alleging Verizon throttled the fire department's data services (specifically tied to its vehicle... More »

Massive Fire Tornado 'Was Incompatible With Life'

It was the last thing Calif. firefighter Jeremy Stoke ever saw

(Newser) - In the history of California wildfires there has never been anything like it: A churning tornado filled with fire, the size of three football fields. An official report describes in chilling detail the intensity of the rare fire phenomenon and how quickly it took the life of Redding firefighter Jeremy... More »

No Cold Shoulder for Owners of Trailer Blamed for Deadly Fire

'It could have happened to any of us'

(Newser) - The rim of a flat trailer tire scraping against asphalt sparked California's eighth largest wildfire near Redding three weeks ago, but the trailer's owners shouldn't blame themselves , many of their neighbors say. The couple, unidentified by authorities, have received at least 100 letters absolving them of blame... More »

Utah Firefighter Killed Battling California Blaze

He's the 6th firefighter to die in wave of wildfires

(Newser) - Authorities say a Utah firefighter has died battling the largest recorded blaze in California history. Authorities say the man died Monday night at a hospital after he was injured at the site of the Mendocino Complex fire north of San Francisco. Details haven't been released. Firefighters from all over... More »

'Lives Are at Stake': Feds Slam California Water Rules

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross steps in with new directive

(Newser) - President Trump has apparently inspired the feds to alter California water rules regarding wildfires, Fox News reports. "Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean," Trump tweeted Monday . "Can... More »

Wildfire Is Now Biggest in California History

Old record only stood for 7 months

(Newser) - "We broke the record," Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean says of the massive Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California. "That's one of those records you don't want to see." The blaze—made up of the twin Ranch and River fires about 100 miles... More »

Trump's Claim on Calif. Wildfires 'Boggles the Mind'

No, the state's water is not being dumped in the Pacific, an expert says

(Newser) - President Trump on Sunday addressed the devastation wrought by the latest California wildfires , the Hill reports. "California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized," he tweeted . "... More »

Northern Calif. Wildfire 9th Worst in State History

20K flee new pair of wildfires

(Newser) - The explosive wildfire around Redding in northern California is now believed to be the ninth most destructive in state history, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean says. The blaze known as the Carr Fire, which has killed two firefighters and four civilians, including two children , has... More »

Suspects Accused of Looting Evacuated Homes in California

Carr fire has started to slow down

(Newser) - Authorities in California have arrested two people on suspicion of looting homes that had been evacuated due to an explosive wildfire. The Sacramento Bee reports that 25-year-old Jade Ball and 19-year-old Jack Fannin, of Redding, were found with what police said was evidence tying them to several burglaries. The Carr... More »

2 Kids, Great-Grandma Die in 'War Zone' of Calif. Wildfire

Flames raced through property while great-grandfather had gone to get supplies

(Newser) - The death count from a Northern California wildfire rose to five Saturday after two young children and their great-grandmother who had been unaccounted for were confirmed dead. "My babies are dead," Sherry Bledsoe said through tears, per the AP . Bledsoe's two children, James Roberts, 5, and Emily... More »

California's Growing Wildfire Started in a Humdrum Way

It began with a vehicle breakdown; now 'firenadoes' are brewing

(Newser) - California's latest wildfire is only getting worse, and "firenadoes" aren't helping. That's the term used by a spokesman for the crews battling what is known as the Carr Fire in Shasta County, reports ABC News . Think winds of about 60mph fanning flames into a "fire... More »

'Wall of Flames' Hits Northern Calif. City

At least 3 firefighters injured; bulldozer operator killed

(Newser) - An explosive wildfire tore through two small Northern California communities Thursday before reaching the city of Redding, killing a bulldozer operator on the fire lines, burning three firefighters, destroying dozens of homes, and forcing thousands to flee. Scott McLean, a CalFire spokesman for the crews battling the blaze, says flames... More »

Alleged Arsonist Arrested After Entire Town Evacuated

California police believe suspect set 5 fires

(Newser) - A fast-moving wildfire—believed to have been sparked by arson—tore through trees, burned five homes, and forced evacuation orders for an entire forest town as California sweltered under a heat wave and battled ferocious fires at both ends of the state. The so-called Cranston Fire, which erupted Wednesday in... More »

Their Home Destroyed, He 'Put a Smile' on His Wife's Face

After finding Laura Rao's wedding ring in ashes, Ishu Rao proposed to her all over again

(Newser) - Out of the ashes, a … proposal will rise. That's the bittersweet story out of Goleta, Calif., where an out-of-control fire scorched about 100 acres and destroyed more than a dozen homes after it started Friday night, local fire officials tell the San Luis Obispo Tribune . Ishu and Laura... More »

Thousands Flee Fires in Dry Rural California

'Wildfire season is upon us'

(Newser) - Wind-driven wildfires destroyed buildings and threatened hundreds of others as they raced across dry brush in rural northern California over the weekend. The Pawnee Fire, which broke out Saturday near Clearlake Oaks, has destroyed 12 buildings and threatened an additional 600. As of Sunday, there was no containment and it... More »

We Spent More Money Than Ever on Weather Disasters

Credit 3 hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes, and drought in 2017

(Newser) - With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes, and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $306 billion. The US had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. That ties 2011 for... More »

Trump Declares Major Disaster in California

Move means feds will cover costs of devastating wildfire

(Newser) - President Trump has declared a major disaster in California over a wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 buildings as fierce winds whipped it through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties last month, the AP reports. The declaration makes federal funding available to state and local governments and some nonprofit organizations... More »

Wildfire Is Now Second Biggest in Calif. History

Thomas fire is still only 55% contained

(Newser) - A wildfire that has burned hundreds of homes in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles is now the second-largest blaze in California history. State fire officials say the 425-square-mile Thomas fire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is slightly larger than the 2012 Rush fire in Lassen County, the... More »

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