Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

California Wildfires: How to Help and Where to Donate

California Wildfires: How to Help and Where to Donate

"There are no forests to manage here", UCLA geography professor Martin MacDonald, who was forced to evacuate from his Southern California home, told The Daily Beast on Sunday.

Some demanded to know why there weren't more firefighters and why there wasn't more communication when the fire broke out. The chief warned that fire conditions will continue until the parched state sees rain. The smaller Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres and was 70% contained.

After a lull on Saturday that allowed firefighters to gain a foothold against what is being called the Camp Fire, in northern California, and the Woolsey Fire in the south, meteorologists predicted... Officials say the blaze is only five percent contained.

Officials previously warned gusts would peak at around 40 miles per hour, which could affect the viability of using aircraft to combat the fires.

Fire officials said Sunday morning that the larger of the region's two fires, the one that hit Malibu, grew to 130 square miles (337 square kilometres) and was 10 per cent contained. "VCA hospitals in the area of the fires are extending free boarding for pets, so evacuated families can focus on their most pressing priorities".

"We're putting everything we've got into the fight against these fires and this request ensures communities on the front lines get additional federal aid", Brown's letter said.

In a statement, Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters union, said Trump's "shameful attack on California" was off-base.

"We're fine, we're at Zuma Beach and we're probably going to sleep in the vehicle tonight", Martin Sheen told Fox News 11, adding that it was the worst fire he had seen in 48 years of living in Malibu. But that's no longer the case.

The unfolding catastrophe follows the enormous 460,000-acre Mendocino Complex Fire in July (the largest in state history), the 280,000-acre Thomas Fire in December 2017 (the second largest), and the Tubbs Fire in October 2017, which destroyed 5,636 buildings (second only to the Camp Fire). Strong winds, low humidity, drought and vegetation so dry as to act as matchsticks exacerbated the flames.

Crews are combing through blackened ruins of homes. The town was utterly leveled.

Several of the bodies discovered earlier this week were found in or near burned out cars, police have said.

"There were people who weren't able to get out", Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said at a makeshift command post at Butte College.

In fact, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a dire warning to the state's residents on Sunday of a "new abnormal".

"The only thing we're not concerned about is the ocean", fire chief Osby said.

The Woolsey Fire doubled in size from Friday night into Sunday, threatening thousands of homes after triggering mandatory evacuation orders for a quarter million people in the upscale Malibu beach colony as well as other communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. But what they saw when they stepped outside shocked them.

Harrowing pictures and video have been posted on social media of cars racing to escape as walls of flame bear down on all sides.

The levels of death and destruction from California's fire season increasingly resemble the impact of hurricanes on the East Coast, where Hurricanes Florence and Michael killed dozens this year and Hurricane Maria killed thousands in Puerto Rico in 2017.

She, her husband and six others rode out the fire in a tunnel a short distance up the road as the fire burned the hillsides above and all around them.

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