31 Killed in Deadliest Week for Wildfires in California History

Posted by on October 14, 2017 in Environment, Environmental Hazards with 2 Comments
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By Lorraine Chow | EcoWatch

Firefighters continue to battle against 17 wildfires that have burned more than 220,000 acres in California, Cal Fire announced in a Friday update.

The death toll from the Northern California blazes has risen to 31, the deadliest week for wildfires in the state’s history.


“We had series of statewide fires in 2003, 2007, 2008 that didn’t have anything close to this death count,” said Daniel Berlant, a deputy director with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The 31 deaths this week surpasses the single deadliest wildfire in state history—the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles which killed 29 people—according to the New York Times.

About 3,500 homes and other structures have been destroyed and thousand have been forced to flee. Hundreds of people have been injured or reported missing. The fires have also released devastating air pollution.

“We are reporting the worst air quality ever recorded for smoke in many parts of the Bay Area,” Tom Flannigan, a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, told the East Bay Times. “This is similar to what you see in Beijing, China in bad air days there.

The wine country fires started Sunday and rapidly spread throughout the week due to the area’s low humidity and high winds. Scientists have suggested climate change might play a role.

 

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  1. reialbino@yahoo.com' Rei Albino D. Cabalquinto says:

    Thinning of trees must be allowed every year in order that someone can clear portions of the areas and lessen undecomposed organic materials that can cause a spark from an intense heat from the Sun.

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