The Camp Fire started in the northern part of the state on November 8, 2018. The other major blazes were also named Woolsey and Hill in the south of the California state. In connection with the fires, U.S. President Donald Trump declared a major natural disaster in California. The Northern California campfire was the most devastating fire in the state’s history and resulted in the largest death toll in the state’s history. Severe fires are not uncommon in California, especially in the northern part of the state. The most recent fire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, happened in 2017. It destroyed six mansions in Bel Air that were valued at about $20 million.
California firefighters have had a lot of hot days, both literally and figuratively. They had to work 24 hours a day to deal with the wildfires that raged in California. Despite the best efforts of the firefighters and volunteers who came out to fight the fiery elements, the fire engulfed vast areas and destroyed the town of Paradise. Strong winds with gusts of 160 km/hour helped the fire to spread. The largest hotbed of fire was located in the northern part of the state, in Butte County, and even got its own name, the Campfire 2018.
All attempts to bring the fire under control were unsuccessful as the fire raged for several weeks. The exact campfire dates are November 8, 2018 – November 25, 2018. Day after day, the area of the fire grew and continued to cover more and more territory. On November 8, a mass evacuation was declared in the state due to the rapidly spreading wildfires. About 250,000 people fled their homes. The fire reached the buildings in the city of Paradise, a total of 17 thousand buildings were under threat of destruction. U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in California. Authorities have completely evacuated the town of Paradise and several surrounding communities. Fire in Butte county 2018 was so strong that even the citizens of San Francisco and Sacramento have suffered from the fumes and the bad air quality. Both metropolises looked like ghost cities.
City Councilman Scott Lotter, who left the burning Paradise with the residents, said that the entire city was engulfed in flames – a resort city of “Paradise” became a real hell on the Earth.
The Mediterranean climate in California state makes just for two seasons: a wet and mild winter and hot and dry summer. Basically, these weather conditions are good for farmers and agriculture, however, long and dry summers make a favorable environment for wildfire. During the past years, the rains in autumn were the rescue for California fighting with fires. Usually, the start of October was the start of a wet, mild, and rainy season, but in 2018 the situation with precipitation was quite different, which led to the Campfire California. Back in autumn 2018, in California state almost no rain had come. Temperatures remained warm, just as they would be during the summer and the vegetation was as dry. Until then, California has never seen so dry November. Another reason for this fire to occupy big areas (officially stated campfire burn area was 153,336 acres or 62,053 ha) was a strong wind. 8 November 2018 meteorologists reported 35 mph winds. But the peak speed of the wind was at 60-70 mph.
Former President Donald Trump, who visited the scene of the tragedy, offered his version of the fires. He believed that with proper forest management, they could put an end to the devastation that happens every now and then in California. “Wise up!” – former U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter, commenting on the fires in the state. The day before, he blamed the fires on state authorities, which, he said, “conduct poor forest management.” Trump mentioned that billions of dollars are allocated every year from the state budget to fight natural disasters, but the situation is not getting better and people are dying. “Fix it now, or no more federal payments!” – he threatened.
Former California Governor Brown said that the federal government did everything that was required to do: the emergency services were supported, assistance was also provided in clearing debris, and in the search for victims and dead people. The former president expressed hope that fires of this magnitude could be prevented in the future. Trump promised to put all available resources to work on the problem. The Paradise fire contained within 17 days.
According to the latest reports, the fire killed 85 people, injured 12 local residents and five firefighters, and destroyed a total of 1,793 different buildings. Fifty-two thousand people were evacuated because of this fire. Most of the damage was caused by the fire in the first two days. Although firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire in about ten minutes, it was not possible to localize it immediately due to stormy weather (up to 22 meters per second). The fire was not fully contained until seventeen days after it started. The campfire size covered an area of 153336 acres. According to financial estimations, the damage caused by this fire and subject to indemnification under insurance is from 7.5 to 10 billion dollars.
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