UPDATE: A Red Flag Warning begins at 10 p.m. tonight. A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidity’s and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.
We thought that fires that consumed cities were a thing of the past, like the Chicago fire or the great San Francisco fire, those things couldn’t happen now. We were wrong. In just the past 12 months and from just 3 fires, the Napa, Carr and now Camp, we’ve suffered the loss of over 17,000 homes and 800 commercial buildings. Financial losses run into the tens of billions.
Because the Camp fire is still ongoing, the death toll can’t be certain. But, as of now these 3 fires claimed 43 confirmed dead, 9 from the Camp fire and it’s likely the latter number will rise in the coming days. These 3 conflagrations have consumed a staggering half million acres. That is approaching the size of Rhode Island.
The common denominators in all 3 fires, gusting winds, dry, forested or heavily vegetated land close to concentrated urban dwellings. In all three fires, the first 24 hours were the most devastating in terms of lives lost.
The Camp fire now has the dubious distinction of being the worst in California’s history and it’s only 20% contained.
Higher winds are predicted for Monday.