‘Paradise is gone’: United States wildfires destroy town, claim 25 lives

Aaron Brown
November 14, 2018

USA authorities say more than 8,000 firefighters are battling three large wildfires in California that have destroyed thousands of structures. The so-called Camp fire that ravaged a swath of Northern California was the deadliest.

The Republican president has previously blamed California officials for fires and threatened to withhold funding, saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris that fuel blazes. Those fatalities added to California's growing wildfire-related death toll.

A firefighting DC-10 makes a fire retardant drop over a wildfire in the mountains near Malibu Canyon Road in Malibu, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.

An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state. Currently, the fire has only been contained by 25%.

What is the latest on the Camp Fire?

In Paradise, a town of 27,000 people roughly 350 kilometres north of San Francisco, more than 6,700 structures have been destroyed by the flames. He said that more than 200 people were still unaccounted for.

"Most of the residential [area] is gone". "It wouldn't surprise me" if it turns out that winds caused equipment failure that sparked a fire, he said. "I had an opportunity to go up there and take a look for myself".

Forrest's home is one of thousands of buildings destroyed.

The fire is the most destructive in the state's history and the joint deadliest. The Hill Fire in Ventura County at Santa Rosa Valley and has burned through more than 4,500 acres, with 70% of the fire contained.

What about the Woolsey Fire?

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The blaze started on Thursday near Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles (64km) north-west of central Los Angeles. Brown told a press briefing that federal and state governments must do more forest management but said that's not the source of the problem.

He is seen standing in his evacuated house, completely burnt down. Officials said they expect the wind to die down by midday Monday, but there was still no rain in sight.

Sunday morning, Utah fire crews met at the Maverik Center for a briefing and to say goodbye to friends and family.

"Winds are already blowing".

Berkeley and his wife, Robyn Berkeley, choked back tears as they recounted their ordeal holding back a 100-foot wall of flames and then repeatedly beating back hot spots that continued to flare up throughout the night and next day.

As Los Angeles fire chief Daryl Osby took the podium, strong gusts swirled smoke, ash and dust through grey skies.

President Donald Trump's tweet blaming "gross mismanagement" for the devastating California wildfires is sparking a backlash from top firefighters' associations, politicians and celebrities.

"What really hampered our ability to combat this fire is we didn't have enough resources for containment", he said.

Later Saturday, Mr. Trump struck a more sympathetic tone on the unfolding crisis in California, praising the firefighters and offering condolences to the victims.

"And unfortunately, the best science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought - all those things are going to intensify".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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