wildfires

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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 »

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 »

State of Emergency in California as Wildfires Rage

Evacuations in Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Yuba counties because of wildfires he says are threatening thousands of homes. Brown issued the declaration on Monday, as multiple fires forced people to evacuate their homes, the AP reports. Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann... More »

Teen Is Main Suspect in Raging Oregon Wildfire

Witness says she saw him throw a firecracker into canyon

(Newser) - A wildfire that started over the weekend in Oregon torched at least 10,000 acres, stranded more than 150 hikers, and forced the evacuation of multiple towns—and officials think a teen fooling around with firecrackers may be to blame. The Columbian reports that a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Wash.... 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 »

Amid French Wildfires, 2 Teens Accused of Arson

Authorities say the 16-year-olds set one of the recent fires

(Newser) - Two adolescent boys will go before a judge Friday on suspicion of deliberately starting one of the wildfires that devastated parts of southeastern France and Corsica this week, an official said. The two boys, both aged 16, were stopped Wednesday by police who believed arson was behind the blaze in... 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 »

'Biggest Tragedy of Human Life We Have Known in Years'

At least 57 dead in Portugal, many killed in cars as flames blew across road

(Newser) - Raging forest fires in central Portugal killed at least 57 people, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road, in what the prime minister on Sunday called "the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years." Nearly 60 other people... More »

6 People, Thousands of Cattle Killed in Devastating Wildfires

Blaze was biggest in state history

(Newser) - Devastating wildfires have set a record that the Kansas Division of Emergency Management says "it never hoped to see and never hopes to surpass." More than 500,000 acres in two counties in the southwest of the state have burned this week in what is believed to be... More »

Cause of Most Wildfires: People

Study finds humans are causing wildfire season to last longer

(Newser) - People have triggered five out of six wildfires in the US over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season and making it start earlier in the East and last longer in the West, a new study finds. Even as climate change worsens the nation's fire... More »

Chile's Worst-Ever Wildfires Wipe Out Entire Town

Firefighter, police officers among 10 killed

(Newser) - Flames from one of Chile's worst wildfires completely consumed the town of Santa Olga as the death toll from the blazes since November rose to 10, officials say. The flames engulfed the post office, a kindergarten, and about 1,000 homes in the town, located 220 miles south of... More »

Teens Could Get Life in Tenn. Wildfire

'Everything is on the table,' prosecutors say

(Newser) - Everything, including murder charges that could bring a sentence of life in prison, is "on the table" for two teenagers accused of starting a devastating wildfire in Tennessee, prosecutors warn. The pair, whose names and ages have not been publicly released, were charged with aggravated arson earlier this month... More »

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