Schools Open 3 Weeks After Northern California Wildfire

Monday marked a return to school and some semblance of routine for thousands of children who lost their homes to a deadly wildfire in Northern California.

Schools in Butte County have been closed since Nov. 8, when the Camp Fire ignited and quickly swept through the towns of Paradise, Concow and Magalia in what would become the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century. At least 88 people were killed and dozens remain unaccounted for.

Many of the Dead in Camp Fire Were Disabled. Could They Have Been Saved?

(TNS) — Sixty-three-year-old Ernest Foss had swollen legs and couldn’t walk. Vinnie Carota, 65, was missing a leg and didn’t have a car. Evelyn Cline, 83, had a car but struggled to get in it without help.

Dorothy Herrera, 93, had onset dementia and her husband Louis, 86, couldn’t drive anymore. And 78-year-old John Digby was just feeling sick the morning of the Camp Fire when he refused a neighbor’s offer to drive him to safety.

For thousands of displaced Paradise residents, recovery is a whole new challenge

Toward the end of a recent news conference held to update the public on the recovery effort in Paradise, a man rose from the audience with a question.

He understood that making the burn area safe for people to return to would be difficult. Especially with the near-constant threat of debris flows. But when could he go back?

Zinke says Northern California fire costs likely in billions

PARADISE, CALIF.
Costs associated with a deadly Northern California wildfire will likely be in the billions, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Monday as he returned to the town of Paradise, saying he has never witnessed such devastation.

"There's a lot of things I'd rather spend this federal money on rather than repairing damage of things that have been destroyed," he said. Zinke nodded to other public services, such as improving visitor experiences at Yosemite National Park or thinning forests as options for the money.

Wildfire Relief for PG&E in California May Not Include Fix Utility Wants

PG&E Corp., suspected of starting California’s deadliest wildfire, may soon get help from state lawmakers – just not the help it most wants.

As early as Dec. 3, a lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would give the state’s largest utility owner a way to pay off billions of dollars in potential liabilities it faces from the Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. It killed at least 85 people, torched more than 13,600 homes and sent PG&E shares spiraling.

What makes a California wildfire the worst? Deaths and size

The so-called Camp Fire in Northern California in many ways has become the worst wildfire in the history of a state whose topography and climate have long made it ripe for devastating blazes.

With terrain ranging from steep, tree-topped mountains to dry, brush-covered hillsides, and matched with a climate that frequently varies from light rainy seasons to drought years, California has been home to deadly, destructive wildfires since record-keeping began in the early 20th century.

Figuring out just how bad a wildfire is requires taking into account several statistics, including not only lives lost and homes destroyed but other buildings burned and the amount of forest, timberland and brush laid to waste.

Wildfire Camera System Provides a Small Measure of Good News in California

As California grapples with increasingly deadly wildfires with seemingly few real solutions, one small but effective way of saving communities is getting more attention and traction: deploying a network of infrared cameras on mountaintops and other high hazard areas.

The AlertWildfire network, consisting of some 80 cameras already dispersed among California forests, has already proven its worth on several occasions. As recently as last week in San Diego County, cameras caught two fire start-ups and allowed fire personnel to put them down with the appropriate amount of manpower.

Despite Repeated California Fires and Other Disasters, Emergency Evacuations Keep Falling Short

(TNS) - Leigh Bailey, 54, was awakened not by her phone, warning her about an incoming fire that would soon destroy her town, but by a neighbor pounding on her door.

Bailey had no idea how bad the fire was about to become. So she went back inside around 9:15 a.m., had a cup of tea and ate some coffee cake and slowly packed some clothes and her dog and cat before heading out of her home in Magalia, just north of Paradise.

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