Here’s a California fire update: 41 people have died, a hundred or so are still missing, 5,700 structures destroyed, and over 245,000 acres burned. Most fires are nearing containment. The best summary I’ve found comes from Cal Fire’s website here: calfire.ca.gov
Then just when we thought we were getting near the end of this, a new fire started up in the hills near our home. The Bear fire started Monday night in an area off Bear Creek Road. The fire’s about ten miles away from home. It’s burned about 275 acres as of last report and while it’s officially 5% contained it looks like they’ve managed to keep it from getting out of hand. There some 600 fire fighters, with a hundred or so engines, tankers, bulldozers, and 9 helicopters working the fire. A 150 homes have been evacuated and four have been destroyed.
The only bad effect for us here in the city has been the smoke which is blowing in.
The cause of the northern fires hasn’t been officially determined, but early speculation has our power company, PG&E, in its sights. The night the fires started there were winds of up to 45 miles per hour and many reports of downed power lines. Sparks from these events are likely to have been the spark. PG&E has a history of neglecting needed maintenance and cutting its tree trimming budget. The company’s stock is dropping like a rock as it facing a possible liability of up to 12 billion dollars. Lawyers on both sides are already at work preparing their cases.
This event will soon drop out of the spot light and the survivors will be left to clean up and try to rebuild their lives. The healing and rebuilding process will take years, possibly decades. Sadly, some will never recover and funerals will mark the end for many.
Stay safe everyone,