Colorado Cameron Peak fire, the largest on record in the state, has burned 203,634 acres and destroyed more than 50 structures
SAN FRANCISCO—Thousands of Northern California residents remained without electricity Friday after a utility cut off service to prevent powerful winds from damaging equipment and sparking wildfires amid a fall heat wave. Power restorations began Thursday afternoon and by evening Pacific Gas and Electric said about 30,000 customers were still in the dark—down from about 45,000 the previous night. All electricity was expected to be restored by late Friday after the second round of hot, dry gusts this week moved through the region and raised the risk of fires, PG&E said. It has been a disastrous wildfire season in California, with more than 8,500 blazes burning more than 6,400 square miles (16,000 square kilometers) since the start of the year. Thirty-one people have died and some 9,200 buildings have been destroyed. Meanwhile, winds in the Sierra Nevada foothills and San Francisco Bay Area topped 55 mph (89 kph), and humidity levels plummeted, making for critical fire conditions, said Scott Strenfel, the utility’s senior meteorologist. “Fuels are drying out, and they’re just very susceptible to any fire ignition, just given these levels of dryness that we’re seeing,” Strenfel said Thursday. PG&E began cutting power Wednesday evening as the first wind event began. Many in the wine country north of San Francisco said they feel drained by what seems like a never-ending wildfire season. Kathleen Collins has had to evacuate her home in the mountains of Napa County four times over the past five years because of fires. This summer, she lived in a motel for two weeks after leaving her home when a massive cluster of fires reached her tiny community of Pope Valley. “It’s all very stressful. People are not happy, but there’s not much they can do about it,” said Collins, assistant manager at Silverado Ace Hardware store in Calistoga, the town of 5,000 people who were allowed to return home just last week after the Glass Fire forced them out in September. The blaze that ravaged areas of Napa and Sonoma counties was contained Wednesday after destroying more than 1,500 homes and other buildings. People have been buying generators, electrical cords, flashlights, batteries, gas cans, and other supplies to help them deal with the latest outage, expected to last through Friday evening, Collins said. The utility better targeted outages this time after it was criticized in 2019 for cutting power to about 800,000 customers and leaving about 2 million people in the dark for days. The causes of two fires that broke out in September remain under investigation. PG&E equipment is being examined in connection with the Zogg Fire in Northern California, and Southern California Edison equipment is under scrutiny in the Bobcat Fire near Los Angeles. Smoke from the huge Creek Fire burning since Sept. 4 in the central part of the state was still affecting air quality as far south as Los Angeles, the National Weather Service said. The weather service issued heat advisories through Friday, with temperatures expected to reach triple digits in many parts of the state. In Southern California, a brush fire Thursday near the city of Redlands triggered a small evacuation as it grew to more than 170 acres (69 hectares). It was about 50 percent contained.
Firefighters watch the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered for the residents of Arcadia, Calif., September 13, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters)President Trump is set to visit California on Monday to assess the damage caused by almost 100 wildfires burning through the West that have killed at least 35 people. Several people remain missing in the region as the president heads to McClellan Park in Sacramento County to receive a briefing on the fires. Advertisement Trump had approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, beginning on August 14, to allow for individual and public assistance. More than 4,100 structures in the state have been destroyed since then, according to USA Today. “Since mid-August, President Trump and Governor Newsom have spoken by phone and the White House and FEMA have remained in constant contact with State and local officials throughout the response to these natural disasters,” White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement. “The President continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally-executed, state-managed, and federally-supported emergency response,” Deere added. Advertisement The Trump administration has approved ten Fire Management Assistance Grants as well as 24 grants for other states to provide a 75 percent federal cost share for controlling the fires, Fox News reported. More than 26,000 federal personnel and 230 helicopters were sent to the region. The president has remained largely silent on the fires since criticizing California for its forest management at a Pennsylvania rally in August. Advertisement “I said you’ve got to clean your floors, you got to clean your forests,” he said. “Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.” More than 16,750 firefighters are battling 29 major wildfires across California, where 3.3 million acres have been burned in wildfires since the start of the year. Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming have also received federal assistance in fighting wildfires. Firefighters struggled to contain fires on Monday against high winds and low humidity. Advertisement In California, smoke has turned the sky an eerie shade of orange, as meteorologist Dan Borsum warned that air quality in the region may not improve until October, according to USA Today. As dozens remain missing in Oregon and California, authorities have expressed concern that even while some fires began to recede in the states, the death toll may continue to climb. Twenty-four people have died in California, while Oregon and Washington state have recorded ten deaths and one death, respectively. Send a tip to the news team at NR.
At this hour, a thick blanket of smoke from the horrific wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington is covering much of the western portion of the country. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon has used the word “apocalyptic” to describe the utter devastation that has been caused by these fires, and that is not an exaggeration whatsoever. There are some small towns that have literally been wiped off the face of the map during the past week, and some of them may never be rebuilt. This has already been a wildfire season like no other along the west coast, and we are just now entering the heart of the 2020 fire season. It is very difficult to imagine another couple months of this, but that is potentially what we are facing. By the time that it is over, nobody living on the west coast will ever forget the chaos that this wildfire season has caused. Some of the largest fires have been burning for weeks, and all of the smoke is having a dramatic impact on large cities such as San Francisco… The cityscape resembles the surface of a distant planet, populated by a masked alien culture. The air, choked with blown ash, is difficult to breathe. There is the Golden Gate Bridge, looming in the distance through a drift-smoke haze, and the Salesforce Tower, which against the blood-orange sky appears as a colossal spaceship in a doomsday film. San Francisco, and much of California, has never been like this. Yes, every year there are wildfires, but what we are watching this year is on an entirely different level. The following are 11 facts that prove the apocalyptic wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington and unlike anything we have seen before… #1 According to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 30,000 firefighters are currently contending with 94 large fires that have burned more than 4.6 million acres in 12 western states. #2 40 of those large fires have prompted evacuation orders, and many have been forced to flee “with just the clothes on their backs” because the fires have moved so rapidly. #3 The August Complex Fire has already officially become the largest wildfire in the history of the state of California, and at this hour it continues to rage out of control. #4 Five of the ten largest wildfires in California history have happened in 2020. #5 In Oregon, 40,000 people have already been evacuated, and hundreds of thousands more have been told to prepare to potentially evacuate. #6 On Saturday, the air quality index reading in Salem, Oregon was 512. That measurement was “off the charts”, because the scale only goes up to 500. #7 Prior to 2020, we had only witnessed a few “fire tornadoes” in all of U.S. history, but now they are occurring “every week or two”. #8 According to the Washington Post, some wildfire plumes have risen “up to 10 miles high”, and that is definitely extremely unusual. #9 About a week after a fire tornado hit the Huntington Lake area, some fires are still burning root systems underground “at more than 1,500 degrees”… A week later, Donnelly said Saturday that the Creek Fire continues to burn in the area, with some fires occurring underground and attacking the root system of trees at more than 1,500 degrees. “Fire inspectors from the office of the State Fire Marshall stated that fire behavior in the Kennolyn area is the worst they had witnessed in their career,” Donnelly wrote in a post that was shared on social media, timestamped as 11 a.m. Saturday. “Unfortunately, it will be some time before it is safe to enter the burned areas.” #10 Even though we still have quite a bit of time to go, this has already been the worst wildfire season in California’s history and the second worst wildfire season in Washington’s history. #11 Sadly, the fire season still has another four months remaining, and there are at least seven weeks left in “prime fire season”. Of course the list above simply cannot express the incredible amount of pain and suffering that these fires have caused for so many people. When a reporter followed Betty Stevens of Phoenix, Oregon back to the spot where her home once stood, what they discovered was too horrible for words… Betty Stevens stumbled down the street that had until a few hours ago seemed so familiar, her feet crunching through ash and debris as she entered the smoking remains of her neighborhood. There were melted street signs. Trees burned down to stumps. Power lines across the road. And everywhere she turned, choking, acrid smoke. Sobbing behind the face mask she normally wears for her job as a hospital respiratory therapist helping coronavirus patients, Stevens, 31, video recorded herself earlier this week as she stumbled through the neighborhood, raw emotion in her voice, sometimes unable to form words, moaning in obvious pain. Could you imagine losing your home and everything inside of it? Over the next several weeks, fires will continue to sweep across our western states and many more homes and buildings will likely be lost. For many, it will be the final straw. As I have discussed previously, large numbers of people have already moved away from the west coast, and there are others that are seriously considering doing so… Monica Gupta Mehta and her husband, an entrepreneur, have been through tech busts and booms, earthquakes, wildfire seasons and power outages. But it was not until the skies darkened and cast an unsettling orange light on their Palo Alto home earlier this week that they ever considered moving their family of five somewhere else. “For the first time in 20-something years, the thought crossed our minds: Do we really want to live here?” said Mehta, who is starting an education tech company. As a very small child, I spent several years on the west coast, and I will always have a great fondness for how it was in the old days. But if you have read my new book, you already know how I feel about the west coast’s future. There are very few areas on the entire globe that have been blessed with more natural beauty than the west coast of the United States. Unfortunately, natural beauty is not everything. Here in 2020, it has just been one thing after another, and the west coast has been hit harder than just about anywhere else. Many are hoping that better times are ahead in 2021, but I definitely would not be counting on that. ***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*** About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com. By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe. I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article. In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help. During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.
I woke up in the morning wondering about the dark red rays coming from behind the curtain. While I expected the darkened sky, the degree of darkness and the fact that I couldn’t smell fire surprised me. Northern California fires have become increasingly common over the last decade as a consequence of mismanaging the environment. Native Americans staged controlled burns to safeguard their villages and create favorable hunting conditions. We failed to emulate that practice, and, as even Mother Jones concedes, so much fuel accumulated in the wilderness that megafires began burning year after year. Year after year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has blamed global warming and utility companies for the ensuing deadly disasters. So far, the summer of 2020 has been a cool one, and no power lines sparked any fires. But since dry lightning strikes pierced the air in August, the state has been ablaze. The difference today is that smoke is stuck high in the atmosphere, blocking the sun, but allowing the San Francisco Bay Area to breathe under the layers of fog. Large flakes of ashes fall onto the ground. An ominous orange glow has filled the sky over the Bay Area in Northern California as relentless wildfires rip through Western states. Here’s the latest: https://t.co/olPrAUKS0B pic.twitter.com/ao52Rz1zGm — The New York Times (@nytimes) September 9, 2020 Red sky, like Mars… This is an unaltered video of the current fires in Mendocino County, California pic.twitter.com/GE6GOC5jG8 — TheSpaceAcademy.org✨? (@ThespaceAcad) September 9, 2020 I had plans to meet a girlfriend for breakfast, and both of us were to bring our kids. I’m not the type to cancel a much-needed social appointment in the midst of a lockdown. I thought about it, though. At nine in the morning we were out on the sidewalk, photographing the tree leaves against the glowing orange air. Cars were passing by with headlights on. Streetlights shone. I had no problem finding parking in what was even a day ago a fairly busy downtown area, even though over the last half-year we have been on a downward spiral. The San Francisco Bay Area is the home to the earliest, and the most restrictive, lockdowns in the nation. The six Bay Area counties imposed the very first American shelter-in-place orders. Those were followed by mask mandates. Initially, residents were mandated to wear masks indoors, and within six feet from each other. At the time, the majority ignored the outdoor masking laws. Then, just as the talk of relaxing shelter-in-place restrictions filled the spring air, the Black Lives Matter riots started, and stores boarded up, plastering BLM logos on the plywood blocking their windows. The riots faded quickly — Antifa rioters who are at the forefront of the actions can’t afford to live around here — and, once again, there was talk of opening. Then Alameda County passed new masking laws, requiring people to wear facial coverings when up to 30 feet away from others. If the earlier regulations allowed strangers to kind of, sort of share the sidewalk, the new ones pretty much made it impossible for two people to show their faces from across the street and still be in compliance with the law. More masks went up, including on drivers alone in their cars. Then some Karens learned about the need to protect their eyes from the virus and donned sunglasses, leaving not a sign of their humanity exposed. We’ve been trained. Over all these months, children had to be entertained. At first, they took to drawing rainbows on the sidewalk and talking to their friends from across the street. Once the riots started, parents taught them to paint BLM logos to display on their front lawns. Every day a new one would go up in my neighborhood of ordinary upper-middle-class East Bay parents, most of them white and Asian, raising their kids with what amounts to a new religion. Then, just in time for the fire season, restaurants opened for outdoor dining. So there I was, sitting at a table under a street lamp, clutching a cup of coffee, pretending to be “actively eating or drinking,” but in reality talking to a friend. How is it not Armageddon, we mused, staring into the darkened sky. Or the ninth plague. Some called it a nuclear winter. Cars kept their headlights on. This is what skies looked like this morning in Northern California, where wildfires are spreading at an astonishing rate. https://t.co/gSYmk1364w pic.twitter.com/JSQqF7VoVh — The New York Times (@nytimes) September 9, 2020 Amidst all the social and sensory deprivation we’ve experienced since March, this felt the most unreal. A morning that dark would feel normal in the north in the winter, and both of us are northern girls. My friend said she spoke with her mom, who complained that it started to rain, and days are shorter now, and chilly, and she no longer wants to go outside. Well, nobody wanted to be outside here either, apparently, more so than since the start of the pandemic scare. Something in our brains was telling us to stay in. On the plus side, last weekend, shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was caught maskless getting her hair blown, claiming ignorance about the local quarantine laws, Alameda County permitted indoor salon operations. We wondered if it was the astonished reaction of the national media outlets — “Who knew it was still illegal in the Bay Area? So unreasonable!” — that shamed the county officials into amending regulations. Did you know that since March there have been 83 COVID deaths in San Francisco County (population just under 1 million), and 296 in Alameda County (population 1.5 million)? All of a sudden we noticed an old man snapping pictures of us. He said he was photographing the weird fire skies, and that our table was merely in the background. We asked him to stop, after which he moved away, but continued shooting. Seniors are especially lonely right now, and at least this New Normal sky gives him something to do. Anyway, we left — and immediately proceeded taking pictures of each other against the saturated orange sky. Sweet Meteor of Death, when did you strike Oakland? Then we drove to my house and went out to walk the dog. Normally I see neighbors walking dogs, and kids on the swings in their front yards. Maybe some bicyclists, or a few joggers. Not today. The only other pedestrians were two photographers documenting the hellscape. One of my neighbors popped out to snap a picture. The colors were off, I noticed. The grass had a bluish tint, and tree leaves were shimmery silver under the street light. According to the forecast, it was supposed to warm up during the day, but it didn’t. What is this nuclear winter? Under the morning twilight sky, fully concealed faces are moving past BLM logos and raised fists painted by children. It’s a total triumph of the political over the personal. A few hours later, after checking social media for the annual Bay Area fire season pictures, I noticed the crows flying in large formations. Probably heading south. Something in their brains told them the summer is over. Time to leave California.