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Death toll rises as California wildfires continue destructive path

in Around California

The death toll from a massive fire that swept through the mountain communities of Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties has risen to 10, and 16 people remain missing, fire officials said Thursday evening.

The North Complex fire mushroomed in size this week, scorching a total of more than 252,000 acres and forcing some 20,000 residents in Plumas, Butte and Yuba counties from their homes. Officials said the bodies of seven more people were found Thursday as they searched through hamlets where the fire burned.

A hand crew was overrun by flames in the fire’s West Zone in Butte County, which had become extremely unpredictable due to erratic weather changes. The crew was able to escape, but two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Continue Reading on LA times

Bobcat fire in Angeles Forest threatens foothill cities amid California’s worst fire season on record

in Around California

LOS ANGELES — As several wildfires raged across Southern California on a third day of excessive heat, the National Forest Service announced unprecedented closures of campgrounds and trails amid the largest fire season on record.

Through only early September, wildfires so far this year have burned more than 2 million acres in the state, surpassing 2018 for the most acres destroyed in a year, according to figures from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Los Angeles Times research.

After historic high temperatures in the region over the weekend, officials with the National Forest Service announced they would temporarily close eight national forests at 5 p.m. Monday because of the extreme heat and dangerous fire conditions. Closing those recreation areas — including the Angeles, San Bernardino, Los Padres, Cleveland, Stanislaus, Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo national forests — will help reduce the potential for human-caused fires, they said.

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Northern California Wildfire Updates: Moc Fire Fully Contained, LNU And SCU Complexes Still Growing

in Around California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Cal Fire released multiple updates on wildfires burning throughout the Northern California region, including the large and destructive LNU and SCU lightning complex wildfires and the Moc Fire that caused evacuations in Tuolumne County.

The Moc Fire, which began burning in Mocassin in the area of Highway 49 and Highway 120 nearly two weeks ago, reached 100% containment at 2,857 acres, Cal Fire said.

Two structures were destroyed in the fire and a total of 686 personnel were assigned to the firefight, Cal Fire said.

Tuolumne County Sheriff Bill Pooley said that withing the fire’s first six hours of burning, it erupted from 3 to 1,700 acres.

Continue Reading on Sacramento CBS local

Wildfires continue to burn in coastal range

in Environment

Wildfires continued to burn through the hills and canyons of the coastal mountain range overlooking the West Side earlier this week.

The SCU Lightning Complex, which includes the Canyon Zone fire that started in Del Puerto Canyon Aug. 16, has grown to be one of the largest wildfires in California history.

As of Tuesday morning, the complex had burned nearly 364,000 acres in Stanislaus, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Alameda, Merced and San Benito counties, according to Cal Fire, and was only 15 percent contained.

The Canyon Zone is the largest of the three fire zones which comprise the SCU Lightning Fire Complex.

Continue Reading on West Side Connect

Crews Making Progress On Northern California Mega Fires

in Environment

Stanislaus County, CA — Containment is growing on a trio of lightning complex fires, two of which have each burned over 350,000 acres.

The SCU Complex Fire is 365,772 acres and 25-percent contained. It is located in the Bay Area and Central Valley. The series of lightning fires, grouped as one incident, is burning throughout the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus.

To the north, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire has burned 357,046 acres and is 33-percent contained. It is burning in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano.

The CZU Lightning Fire, burning in the Santa Cruz mountains and parts of San Mateo County is 79,640 acres and is 19-percent contained.

Continue Reading on My Mother Lode

New Wildfire Evacuation Orders, Warnings Issued

in News

New evacuation orders and warnings have been issued to Santa Clara County at 3 p.m. Thursday in response to the cluster of at least 20 fires blazing in five counties, dubbed the SCU Lightning Complex fires.

Areas that were under an evacuation warning Wednesday night are now under an evacuation order and include:

-East of Shingle Valley Road and everything east of Anderson Lake, east of Coyote Creek, east of Coyote Reservoir, east of Roop Road, east of Leavesly Road, east of Crews Road, east of Ferguson Road.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Gate

Smoke from wildfires prompts Central Valley air pollution district to issue health caution

in Health

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a health caution on Monday because of smoke caused by wildfires across the state.

Smoke from the Canyon Fire (Stanislaus County), the Hills Fire (Fresno County) and Lake Fire (Los Angeles County) is infiltrating into the San Joaquin Valley, affecting the air quality.

Smoke from the growing River Fire in Salinas could also push its way inland if winds shift.

Air pollution officials caution residents to reduce exposure to the particulate matter emissions by remaining indoors in affected areas.

Continue Reading on Visalia Times Delta

Wildfire danger: Red-flag warning from Delta to Sierra foothills

in Around California

A red-flag warning, indicating elevated wildfire conditions, has been issued by the National Weather Service for a swath of Northern California including the Carquinez Strait.

The warning is in effect from 11 p.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday.

It extends from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to the northern San Joaquin Valley and the southern Sacramento Valley, comprising parts of the counties of Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Sutter.

Dry north to northwesterly winds of 15 to 20 mph are forecast, with gusts up to 30 mph. Humidity during the day is expected to be 10 to 13 percent.

Continue Reading on Mercury News

How the California Wildfires Are Impacting Tourism

in business/Economy/Local Roundup

After several years of unprecedented wildfires, many of them raging through national forests and the celebrated Napa/Sonoma wine region, California’s tourism industry is up against what former Governor Jerry Brown calls “the new abnormal.”

While visitor numbers remain strong, California tourism marketers are grappling with other challenges, some of them exacerbated by the fires. These issues include a lack of affordable housing for service employees and the need to steer wine tourism away from the popular — and most fire-prone — fall harvest season.

There are also worries that the image of the Golden State may be irrevocably tarnished.

Continue Reading on Skift

California’s Sonoma wine country reckons with wildfire damage to tourism economy

in Environment/Local Roundup

SONOMA, Calif. — As ash settles from the recent wildfires in one of the world’s most recognizable wine regions, the battle-tested vintners now face another problem – discouraged tourists.

The wildfires in California’s Sonoma County are among the largest and most intense in the state’s history. Fortunately for the wineries, the fires came at the close of the harvest this year and most of the grapes were saved. But that might not matter so much.

“The real damage from the fires isn’t on the harvest, it’s on the economy,” said Rob McMillan, executive vice president and founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division. “From a tourism standpoint, people will choose not to come to the vineyards.”
Continue Reading on CNBC
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