California Town Devastated by Wildfire Rebuilds, But Is It Any Safer a Year Later

There was “no way in hell” Victoria Sinclaire was rebuilding in Paradise, Calif.

She’d thought she was going to die during the six hours it took her to escape the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The town where she’d raised her family was nearly wiped out, two of her three cats had disappeared into the flames, and she “was done.”

Kincade Fire Evacuees Crowd Strip Malls, Fairgrounds, Campgrounds

(TNS) - Like nomads, thousands of people fleeing the ferocious 75,000-acre Kincade Fire have been migrating south — town to town — trying to stay a step ahead of the destructive blaze that has been steadily expanding since it broke out near Geyserville last Wednesday night.

Many of the more than 180,000 evacuees moved into the homes of family and friends to await news of when they can safely return, hopefully to homes that are still standing. But many others have had to sleep in evacuation centers, their cars and RVs, county fairgrounds and even campgrounds. Hotels across the region have been booked solid by fire refugees.

Los Angeles Fire Spreads, Underscores City’s Inherent Dangers

(TNS) — The cantilevered palaces of Los Angeles' elite were under siege. "Apocalypse bags" were packed. LeBron James fled with his family and couldn't find a hotel room. News copters filmed the fire copters, as drivers on the 405 Freeway sailed through the fiery vortex and lived to Instagram it.

The Getty fire broke out along the freeway by Getty Center Drive after 1:30 a.m. Monday and blew up to more than 600 acres under Santa Ana winds, destroying eight homes and damaging five in Brentwood. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate some of the priciest enclaves on Earth.

What Fires Are Burning in California and Which Are the Most Dangerous?

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This story was updated at 5:30 a.m. Monday. Check back for the latest information.

Firefighters are battling several major wildfires across California, including an explosive Sonoma County blaze that has engulfed 54.000 acres, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports.

Getty Fire Hits Southern California over the Weekend

(TNS) — A growing brush fire was threatening thousands of homes in Brentwood and other Westside hillside communities, burning several structures and prompting widespread evacuations early Monday.

The Getty fire broke out shortly before 2 a.m. along the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and spread to the south and west, rapidly burning 400 acres and sending people fleeing from their homes in the dark. About 3,300 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders.

Sonoma County Fire Grows to 10,000 Acres, Evacuations Ordered

(TNS) — A fast-moving wildfire ignited late Wednesday in a remote, mountainous stretch of northeastern Sonoma County, rapidly growing to an estimated 5,000 acres amid intense winds and prompting evacuations outside Geyserville.

The fire is burning near The Geysers geothermal plant in the Mayacamas Mountains and the glow of flames is visible throughout the area.

What’s Next: Will PG&E Blackouts Happen Again in California?

(TNS) — The inventory of woes from last week’s PG&E’s power shutdown across Northern and Central California continues to come in:

Students at UC Berkeley worrying that the intentional outage may have resulted in the loss of two years of research into fighting drug-resistant forms of cancer. Businesses that lost income from the cutoff even as PG&E’s website crash sowed widespread confusion and chaos. Reports of vehicle collisions at intersections where the power to traffic lights had been cut. And scores of elderly people and others whose lives are dependent on electricity living through desperate hours of wondering how they’d manage to get by until power was restored.

California Tempers Flare: Will Power Outages Prevent Wildfires?

(TNS) — Classes were canceled. Frozen foods melted. Hospitals switched to emergency generators. Blooms withered in florists’ coolers. Unused food was jettisoned at shuttered restaurants. Lines formed at gas stations. Cellphones faded out.

That’s what happened Wednesday when the state’s largest utility shut off power to millions of Californians in a drastic attempt to avoid the killer wildfires that have charred hundreds of thousands of acres, caused billions of dollars in damage and spurred cries for widespread change in how electricity is delivered over the state’s aging grid.

Nearly 800,000 in NorCal Having Power Shut Off to Avert Wildfire

(TNS) - In a historic move to avert another fiery disaster, PG&E is turning off power to as many as 800,000 customers in Northern and Central California Wednesday, prompting residents, schools, businesses and local officials to make hurried plans to cope without electricity possibly for several days.

With wind speeds expected between 40 mph and 70 mph over sunbaked land Wednesday and Thursday, the state’s largest utility opted to preemptively cut power in parts of 34 counties, including Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties in the North Bay.

PG&E, driven into bankruptcy in January facing about $30 billion in liabilities for the 2017 wildfires, adopted temporary power shut-offs as a key part of its wildfire prevention plan. A majority of those catastrophic blazes were attributed to the company’s equipment.

California Wildfires a Threat to Progress Cutting Greenhouse Gases

Oct. 8--The wildfires that raged last year from Paradise to Malibu made for California's deadliest, most destructive fire season on record.

But the eruption of blazes marked another distinction for California, as one of the worst for the climate. In 2018, fires released more than 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere--the most in a decade and trailing only slightly behind 2008, when the state was also stricken by two of the largest wildfires in modern history.

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