The wildfires that are roaring through northern California are already “among the most destructive fire events in U.S. history”, and by the time it is all said and done this could be the worst wildfire season in the history of the state. So far, fires have scorched more than 250 square miles, and more than 3,500 homes and businesses have already been destroyed. The official death toll has risen to 21, but that is expected to rise dramatically because over 600 missing persons reports have been filed with authorities. The worst damage has been done in Napa and Sonoma counties, and you can see some deeply troubling photos of the devastation here and here.
Unfortunately, this crisis is far from over. In fact, the National Weather Service has just issued a pair of “red flag warnings”…
The weather forecast is not looking good for those living in wine country, and for those firefighters trying to get a handle on the 22 wildfires raging through Northern California, which broke out Sunday and are barely contained more than three days later.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the North and East bays starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday and midnight on Thursday respectively.
That means winds can gust from 20 mph to 50 mph in the higher elevation areas, fanning the flames down mountains and into the cities.
So as bad as things are at this moment, the truth is that they are going to get even worse over the next 24 hours.
And that is quite sobering to hear, because this is already one of “the most destructive fire events in U.S. history”…
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said fire activity increased significantly, destroying more buildings and forcing more mandatory evacuations. The wind-whipped, fast moving cluster of blazes ranks among the most destructive fire events in U.S. history.
“This is a serious, critical, catastrophic event,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said. “It’s pure devastation, and it’s going to take a while to get out and comb through all this.”
Of course this crisis comes on the heels of several other major disasters. In recent weeks our nation has had to deal with Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the Las Vegas shooting, and many have pointed out that the U.S. has not seen a series of disastrous events such as this in a very long time.
It would be hard to overstate the devastation that we have witnessed in northern California so far. In some areas, it literally looks like a war zone…
‘It looks like a bombing run here,’ said winemaker Joe Nielsen of Santa Rosa’s Donelan Family Wines, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle. ‘Just chimneys and burnt-out cars and cooked trees.’
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