The Butte County Sheriffs’ Office has confirmed 29 fatalities in the burned area
(Originally published at 8:48 a.m. PST November 12, 2018)
The town of Paradise, California has released a partial list of structures that have been destroyed or at least 50 percent damaged in the Camp Fire. The surveys to assess the damage are ongoing and so far the list only covers 695 structures. The official estimate is that 6,453 homes have burned.
As of Sunday afternoon the Butte County Sheriffs’ Office had confirmed 29 fatalities in the burned area, while 228 people are still considered missing and unaccounted for. Some of the missing could be in shelters or no longer have cell phones. More than 100 were removed from the list after they were found.
The Sheriff’s Office has set up phone lines for a Missing Persons Call Center where the public can provide and receive information about missing individuals.
The numbers are:
The Camp Fire was very active on the east side Sunday, spreading for over two miles east of Concow and spotting across the north end of Lake Oroville. The east side was less active, but still added about 1,000 acres southwest of Magalia.
CAL FIRE is reporting that the fire has burned 113,000 acres, but the agency often intentionally under-reports the size of large fires by 10 to 15 percent.
The homes of at least 53 firefighters burned in the Camp Fire, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters. The organization set up a disaster relief center for firefighters in Chico and so far have helped more than a dozen emergency responders.
Pacific Gas & Electric disclosed to the Public Utilities Commission that one of their high voltage power lines had a disruption in service on Pulga Road near the Camp Fire at 6:15 a.m. the day it started, November 8. The fire was reported at 6:29 a.m. In the following days the stock price plunged 33 percent.
The Red Flag Warnings in Central and Northern California expire Monday morning. In Southern California south of Santa Barbara they are in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday for 20-35 mph winds gusting to 55, and, 3 to 10% relative humidity.
(Originally published at 7:27 a.m. PST November 11, 2018)
The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for much of California, predicting strong winds and low humidities that could spread existing wildfires and force new ignitions to grow quickly.
The warnings in the central and northern part of the state expire Sunday night or early Monday morning. The details vary a bit from location to location, but the forecasters expect north to east winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 to 50 with 5 to 10 percent humidities.
In Southern California the warnings are in effect Sunday through Tuesday for northeast winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts at 45 to 55, along with single digit relative humidities. There will be little humidity recovery during the night during this period. The strongest winds will be Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The fire burned from Simi Valley south to the beach at Malibu in Southern California
(Originally published at 7 a.m. PST November 11, 2018)
The spread of the Woolsey Fire was not as extreme Saturday as it was Thursday and Friday, but it was still active in the Malibu area, on the east side along Las Virgenes Road, and on the west side near Yerba Buena Road.
Saturday evening fire officials said 177 structures have been destroyed.
Friday night the L.A. County Coroner confirmed that two people were found deceased, severely burned in a vehicle. Those are the only fatalities confirmed so far, which is a much lower number than the 23 fatalities discovered on the Camp Fire at Paradise in Northern California.
A mapping flight Saturday determined that the fire has burned 96,030 acres.
More than 200,000 residents are under evacuation orders.
With so much active fire and little containment, firefighters will be challenged to keep the fire from growing while a Red Flag Warning is in effect Sunday through Tuesday. Forecasters expect northeast winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts at 45 to 55, along with single digit relative humidities. There will be little humidity recovery during the night during this period. The strongest winds will be Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The greatest threat from these winds will be the southwest side of the fire, south of Newbury Park and Hidden Valley and east of NAS Point Mugu.
(Originally published at 9:01 a.m. PST November 10, 2018)
President Trump is in France but early Saturday morning he weighed in on Twitter with commentary about the wildfires in California that this week have killed nine people, destroyed over 6,000 residences, burned more than 190,000 acres, and 200,000 people have been forced from their homes.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
The Camp and Woolsey Fires both burned during very strong wind events — so extreme that air tankers and helicopters could not assist firefighters on the ground. Because of the immediate threat to the local populations, wildland firefighters had to abandon attempting to suppress the fires, and switched to saving lives.
As noted below by former firefighter James Sinko who is now with The Weather Channel, the area of the Camp Fire has had only 0.14 inch of precipitation since the first of June, and 0.88 since May 1.
The Camp Fire at Paradise, California continued to be very active Saturday and Saturday night. The areas spreading the most were the north and east sides. Around Big Bend north of Lake Oroville, the fire moved 0.5 to 1.0 mile. CAL FIRE reports that the fire has covered 109,000 acres.
After gusting at 10 to 22 mph overnight, the winds on the Camp Fire slowed considerably after sunrise Sunday, and came out of variable directions at about 2 mph.
Forecasters expect the wind to increase Sunday night out of the northeast at 17 mph, gusting to 24. The humidity will be in the lower teens late Sunday afternoon, increasing to 21 percent during the night. The fire activity could increase Sunday night. The wind speeds should decline to about 5 mph Monday afternoon.
The number of people that died in the Camp Fire in northern California has risen by 14, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Saturday night. With the nine found earlier, this brings the total to 23. The victims have been found near residences and in the burned ruins of vehicles and homes in Paradise and Concow. It is possible that these numbers will increase in the coming days.
The fire is still producing a prodigious amount of smoke which is moving off to the south and southwest.
Below is a Sunday morning update from CAL FIRE:
“Last night the fire conditions were moderate to extreme due to the wind event. Crews continued to protect structures and fight fire aggressively. Fire lines are strategically being put in ahead of the fire to improve roads and provide barriers to the fire. Today [Sunday] the fire and firefighters will continue to be impacted by the strong winds. With the northeast wind pushing smoke to the southwest air operations will take advantage of the clearer air on the eastern side of the fire as long as weather and smoke conditions permit. Firefighters and cooperating agencies are continuing to mitigate many hazards within Paradise, CA.
“At 0700 hrs [Sunday] morning the Camp Fire Incident entered unified command with USFS.”
(UPDATED at 9 p.m. PST November 10, 2018)
The number of people that died in the Camp Fire in northern California has risen by 14, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Saturday night. With the nine found earlier, this brings the total to 23. The victims have been found near residences and in the burned ruins of vehicles and homes.
None of them have been positively identified due to the condition of the remains. The California Department of Justice will help set up a process whereby relatives can give DNA samples to assist with identifications.
At least 110 are still missing.
CAL FIRE reports that the Camp Fire has burned 105,000 acres.
These abandoned and burned out cars shows you what a panic it must have been for residents trying to escape the Camp Fire. Unreal scenes in Paradise, CA, this morning. #CampFirepic.twitter.com/AhBuWzS0Tx
(Originally published at 8:22 a.m. PST November 10, 2018)
The news from the Camp Fire that burned through Paradise, California keeps getting worse. Authorities reported that four additional fatalities are confirmed, bringing the total to nine. Some of the nine were found in burned vehicles, others were on the ground near structures, and one was discovered in a residence.
(To see all articles about the Camp Fire on Wildfire Today, including the most recent, click here.)
Officials reported that 6,453 homes and 260 other structures have been destroyed, making the Camp Fire the most destructive in California history.
The number of fatalities and burned structures could increase in the coming days as firefighters are able to access more areas.
The mayor of the town of Paradise estimates that 80 to 90 percent of the structures were wiped out.
On Friday the north half of the fire was actively spreading, including the northernmost edge, areas west of Magalia, near the northwestern arm of Lake Oroville, and the fire edge east and south of Concow Reservoir.
CAL FIRE is saying the Camp Fire has burned 100,000 acres.
Pacific Gas & Electric disclosed to the Public Utilities Commission that one of their high voltage power lines had a disruption in service on Pulga Road near the Camp Fire at 6:15 a.m. the day it started. The fire was reported at 6:29 a.m.
Resources assigned to the fire include 440 engines, 18 water tenders, 23 helicopters, 67 hand crews, and 67 dozers for a total of 3,223 personnel.
Description of the video below: “Leaving Paradise, California towards Chico down Pentz Rd the morning of Friday, November 9th. This is the area around Lime Estates.”