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Teams search for 1,000 missing in California's deadliest wildfire

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Teams search for 1,000 missing in California's deadliest wildfire

By Terray Sylvester and Steve Holland

 

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U.S. President Donald Trump visits the charred wreckage of Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (L), Brock Long (R), Paradise Mayor Jody Jones (2nd R) and Governor Jerry Brown in Paradise, California, U.S., November 17, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

 

PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) - Forensic recovery teams searched for more victims in the charred wreckage of the northern California town of Paradise on Saturday as the number of people listed as missing in the state's deadliest wildfire topped 1,000.

 

President Donald Trump visited the devastated small community in the Sierra foothills, 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, where authorities say the remains of at least 71 people have been recovered.

 

Paradise was home to nearly 27,000 residents before it was largely incinerated by the blaze on the night of Nov. 8.

"Nobody could have thought this would ever happen," Trump told reporters amid the charred wreckage of the town's Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park.

 

"This is very sad to see. As far as the lives are concerned, nobody knows quite yet," Trump said. "Right now we want to take care of the people who have been so badly hurt."

 

Trump was flanked by California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom. Brown said the federal government was doing what it needed to do, including supporting first responders and helping with clean-up and search for victims.

 

The disaster already ranks among the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century. Eighty-seven people perished in the Big Burn firestorm that swept the Northern Rockies in August of 1910. Minnesota's Cloquet Fire in October of 1918 killed 450 people.

 

Trump has blamed the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, and he said he discussed the issue with Brown and Newsom on the ride into Paradise.

 

"I don't think we'll have this again to this extent," Trump said of the fire. "Hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one."

 

Asked whether the scenes of devastation had changed his view on climate change, Trump said: "No. I have a strong opinion. I want great climate and we're going to have that and we're going to have forests that are very safe."

 

Authorities attribute the high death toll from the blaze - dubbed "Camp Fire" - partly to the speed with which flames raced through the town with little warning, driven by howling winds and fueled by drought-desiccated scrub and trees.

 

More than a week later, firefighters have managed to carve containment lines around 55 percent of the blaze's perimeter. The fire covered 148,000 acres (60,000 hectares), fire officials said.

 

Besides the toll on human life, property losses from the blaze make it the most destructive in California history, posing the additional challenge of providing long-term shelter for many thousands of displaced residents.

 

(For a graphic on 'Deadly California fires' click 2Plpuui)

 

EVACUEES

 

With more than 9,700 homes up in smoke, many refugees have taken up temporary residence with friends and family, while others have pitched tents or were living out of their vehicles.

 

At least 1,100 evacuees were being housed in 14 emergency shelters set up in churches, schools and community centers around the region, with a total of more than 47,000 people remaining under evacuation orders, authorities said.

 

Several shelters are full and, although authorities say they still have space for everyone, hundreds of people have been camping in tents and cars in the area.

 

Search teams with cadaver dogs have combed through rubble-strewn expanses of burned-out neighborhoods looking for bodies.

 

On Friday night, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the remains of eight more fire victims were recovered during the day, bringing the death toll to 71.

 

Honea said the total roster of people unaccounted for had swelled to 1,011 - more than triple the number counted as missing on Thursday afternoon.

 

"This is a dynamic list," Honea told reporters, saying it was compiled from "raw data" that likely included some duplications or multiple spellings of names.

 

Honea bristled when asked whether many of those listed at this point, more than a week after the disaster, were expected to end up either deceased or declared missing and presumed dead.

 

    "I don't think it's appropriate for any of us to sit and speculate about what the future holds," he said. As of Friday, he said, 329 individuals previously reported missing had turned up alive.

 

LIST OF THE MISSING

 

The names were being compiled from information received from a special hotline, along with email reports and a review of emergency 911 calls that came in on the first night of the fire, Honea said.

 

Some listed have likely survived but not yet notified family or authorities. Others may not have been immediately listed because of delays in reporting them.

 

Weather conditions have since turned more to firefighters' favor, though strong, gusty winds and lower humidity were expected to return late on Saturday through early Sunday ahead of rain forecast for mid-week.

 

The outbreak of Camp Fire coincided with a series of smaller blazes in Southern California, most notably the Woolsey Fire, which is linked to three fatalities and has destroyed at least 500 structures near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles. It was 78 percent contained on Friday night.

 

Scientists have said the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires in California and elsewhere across the West are largely attributable to prolonged drought that is symptomatic of climate change.

 

The precise causes of the Camp and Woolsey Fires were under investigation, but electric utilities have reported equipment problems in the vicinity of both blazes around the time they erupted.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-11-18

 

 

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A guy that dumb, leading a country that big, is a very dangerous combination.

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An appalling loss of life from an event which seems to defy any natural explanation. The speed the fires spread, the extent of the devastation are unprecedented and have led to all kinds speculation and conspiracy theories on social media as to how how the fires started and why.

 

Never mind, the oracle has spoken: "I want great climate and we're going to have that and we're going to have forests that are very safe."  So we can all sleep easier in our beds now.

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6 hours ago, pegman said:

A guy that dumb, leading a country that big, is a very dangerous combination.

Just let your intelligence shine 🤣

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#RakeAmericaGreatAgain

 

Awkward, ex-wife's current boyfriend's father.

 

Trump: "You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important... I was with the President of Finland... he called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem."

 

 

 

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Nobody expects anything but garbage out of his mouth anymore anyway, and that's on a good day. Sending Pence to APEC says it all. There is no there there in the old noggin when it comes to "trump."

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10 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

#RakeAmericaGreatAgain

 

Awkward, ex-wife's current boyfriend's father.

 

Trump: "You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important... I was with the President of Finland... he called it a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem."

 

 

 

The current fires have been predicted to increase in part because there has been a long lasting drought and indications that the rainy season is arriving significantly later on an annual basis.   The rains in the entire western part of the US are much less than in the past.   Current models show it moving easterly, and it's pretty clear that the middle of America and the East Coast have been soaked. 

 

This can't be talked about because it might threaten those who have no belief in science.   

 

As far as his 'Finland model', here's a little link about forest fires there:

 

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/wildfires_rage_in_lapland_more_threaten_finland_from_the_east/10316400

 

 

 

 

Edited by Credo
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Seems like it's about time to trot out plans for the...

 

 

Rake Force

 

 

 

 

 

rakeaid.jpg

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Finnish President Sauli Niinistö says he never even mentioned RAKING to the troll U.S. president. Is anyone surprised?

 

Quote

Trump suggests Californians can rake their forests to prevent wildfires. (He is wrong.)

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/11/18/trump-suggests-californians-can-rake-their-forests-prevent-wildfires-he-is-wrong/

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Not sure about raking.... i would probably use drip torches. Forests do need to be managed. Out west that dead fall takes forever to rot and gets bone dry. You need to reduce the fuel from time to time. If done correctly you still get fires but of much less intensity. This is part of the natural cycle of how the pine trees regenerate out west.

 

Some selective logging is also good. If it is global warming and won't get any better than I suggest the people out there think about why they live there and if it is worth the risk. 

 

 

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Just now, Cryingdick said:

Not sure about raking.... i would probably use drip torches. Forests do need to be managed. Out west that dead fall takes forever to rot and gets bone dry. You need to reduce the fuel from time to time. If done correctly you still get fires but of much less intensity. This is part of the natural cycle of how the pine trees regenerate out west.

 

Some selective logging is also good. If it is global warming and won't get any better than I suggest the people out there think about why they live there and if it is worth the risk. 

 

 

You're not sure about it? The Finnish President denies ever saying such a thing and the best you can do is not be sure about it? No wonder it's hard to tell between those who are being sarcastic and those who are genuine Trump supporters. 

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1 minute ago, bristolboy said:

You're not sure about it? The Finnish President denies ever saying such a thing and the best you can do is not be sure about it? No wonder it's hard to tell between those who are being sarcastic and those who are genuine Trump supporters. 

 

Holy christ you follow people around don't you? I gave a little ambiguity in my post. This was partially to not say outright. That they know it is global warming and are idiotic enough to live there. You don't do subtleties well.

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3 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

Holy christ you follow people around don't you? I gave a little ambiguity in my post. This was partially to not say outright. That they know it is global warming and are idiotic enough to live there. You don't do subtleties well.

What's the point of being ambiguous about something that's clearly false? Unless you're reluctant to criticize its author.

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4 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

Holy christ you follow people around don't you? I gave a little ambiguity in my post. This was partially to not say outright. That they know it is global warming and are idiotic enough to live there. You don't do subtleties well.

Yes, so you're saying it takes an idiot to deny the reality of global warming?

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