In California the most likely natural disasters to visit would be an earthquake or wildfires. This time of the year in particular is often the prime period when they break out. When they do, devastation of homes and communities, not to mention injury and loss of life, would surely follow.
CNN reports that the two major California wildfires that broke out last week on Thursday, November 8, have between them claimed no less than 31 lives in their infernal rampage. The Camp wildfire in the northern part of the state has been the worst of these, and has already been labeled as perhaps the most devastating blaze to ever ravage California. It claims 29 of the confirmed dead, and is responsible for the near complete destruction of Paradise town with over 90 of its standing structures burned down, and 238 people still missing and unaccounted for according to local authorities.
Over in the south, the Woolsey wildfire killed the remaining 2 fatalities reported so far, while spreading about 85,500 acres. In conjunction with the smaller, and now mostly contained, Hill wildfire, Woolsey has destroyed 179 buildings and threaten to burn 57, 000 more. It is 15% contained; Camp is 25%.
Among the many homes that were razed by the wildfires are residences of major Hollywood stars such as Gerald Butler, Camille Crammer Meyer and Shannon Doherty, along with those of singer-songwriters Neil Young and Robin Thicke. Among those who have joined the evacuation but for now have their residences remaining intact are Alyssa Milano, Orlando Bloom, Lady Gaga, Rainn Wilson, Caitlyn Jenner and Donna Karan.
For Young, this makes it his second home lost to a California wildfire; and his official website blog post has him speaking about climate change enabling devastating blazes like these. Butler, for his part, was quite impressed with the grit and determination shown by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel in battling the wildfire that consumed his home, and asked for charitable support for the organization on Twitter.
High winds around Los Angeles County have not made things any easier for firefighters in preventing more flare-ups to increase the wildfires’ footprint in addition to the extended dry period that local officials forecast will continue on into the week. Again the prime suspect is climate change, as remarked on by California Governor Jerry Brown. “This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal,” he said. “The chickens are coming home to roost, this is real here.” Los Angeles County has seen 170,000 residents being evacuated ahead of the wildfire advance, adding to the total 300,000 already fled.
We here at Morgan Magazine express our admiration and support to the brave fire fighters of the LAFD as they battle to contain the Camp and Woolsey wildfires before they damage anything further. We also send our prayers that those who have evacuated might still have homes to return to. Lastly, our deepest sympathies go to those who have already lost their homes, as well as the very casualties of these deadly blazes.
Image courtesy of ABC News