The death toll from the Camp Fire in Paradise, the most destructive fire in the history of California, has surged to 25 people, with more than 100 people still missing in the northern part of California. The scenes are disturbing. Abandoned cars with melted tires errantly scattered in front of motorists who were fleeing their own cars in an attempt to escape the crumbling mess of a roadway that lay ahead of them.
Meanwhile, in Southern California, the Woolsey fire has “burned 83,000 acres, claimed two lives, destroyed more than a hundred homes and forced 260,000 people to evacuate across a wide swath of Los Angeles and Ventura counties,” per the L.A Times this past weekend. The L.A. Times also reported that “the fire spread in several directions, burning homes in Malibu, Westlake Village, and Thousand Oaks while threatening parts of Simi Valley, West Hills and numerous Ventura County communities… the fire, which is only 5% contained, has doubled in size since Friday afternoon… Firefighters staged a furious battle overnight to save Pepperdine University in Malibu, where hundreds of students and staff were sheltering in place.” Many officials have ordered evacuations of the southern portion of Paradise this past Saturday while more than 3,000 firefighters fought the flames.
The cause has not yet been determined; however, according to the New York Post, “radio transmissions indicated a Pacific Gas & Electric Company power line was sparking in the area when the now-156-square-mile blaze began [this past] Thursday.” President Trump mistakenly claimed that the “gross mismanagement” of state forests was the crux of the issue. This horrific natural disaster comes hot on the heels of Thousand Oaks’ recent bar shooting. Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, whose district includes the reeling county of Thousand Oaks, stated, “We’ve had a lot of tragedy in our community. We don’t want any more. We do not want any more lives lost.”