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California Forest Fire: Death Toll Rises

Forest fires leave 13 dead …

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Thirteen people are confirmed dead, more than 100 are missing and more than 100 have been hospitalized as multiple forest fires continue to burn in the state of California.

Fueled by winds gusting as high as sixty miles per hour, more than 1,500 structures and 115,000 acres have been consumed by at least a dozen-and-a-half separate conflagrations – most of which started on Sunday as a result of lightning strikes.

Fortunately, conditions have improved over the past 24 hours as firefighters attempt to get a handle on the blazes.

“The winds that fanned these fires Sunday night and Monday morning have decreased significantly, but local winds and dry conditions continue to pose a challenge,” a news release from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection noted.  “With the decrease in the winds combined with cooler weather, firefighters made good progress overnight.”

Here’s a look at the situation from space courtesy of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)’s Aqua satellite …

(Click to view)

(Via: NASA)

States of emergency have been declared by California governor Jerry Brown in at least five California counties.  Brown also asked U.S. president Donald Trump to issue a federal disaster declaration in support of state and local efforts to suppress the fires and deal with the damage they have caused.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost friends and family members as a result of these fires.  Same with those who have lost their homes.

It’s tragic …

It’s also expensive, as the federal government has already shelled out $2 billion on fire suppression efforts this year – the most expensive year on record.

This news site ran a post a little over a month ago addressing federal fire mitigation policies in relation to an outbreak of forest fires in Montana.  To read that article, click here.

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