California getting firefighting help from other states
October 11, 2017
• Wildfires raging past 170,000 acres with little containment
• Governor says global warming exacerbates the problem
• UPDATED @ 11:32 a.m. Thursday with higher death toll
Multiple wildfires in California’s wine country have killed 24 people, destroyed more than 3,500 buildings and there is little containment as high winds and extremely dry vegetation combine explosively.
There are over 22 major fires, mainly in eight counties, burning in California. These fires have scorched 170,000 acres, including urban areas of housing subdivisions, according to details provided at a midday briefing Wednesday.
“Were not out of the woods and we won’t be out of the woods for a number of days to come,” says Ken Pimlott, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.
“The winds have returned. There is 8 percent humidity in many locations” and a “critically dry fuel be,” he says.”The potential continues to exist for peril if folks don’t get out.”
Officials say there are now about 8,000 fire fighters battling the flames. They are using 73 helicopters, over 30 air tankers and over 550 fire engines already in use, with another 170 fire engines coming from other states.
“We are still impacted by five years of drought. We are looking at explosive vegetation,” Mr. Pimlott says.
Calling it a “profoundly serious fire,” California’s governor says the costs will be enormous.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money,” says Gov. Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. “Tens of billions,” adding that it is still too early for any official estimates of damage.
But Californians need to expect future wildfire disasters, Mr. Brown says. “That’s the way it is with a warming climate,” he says.
The governor says the massive wildfires are not likely to impact the state’s economy. “The overall California economy is very large. It grows even through disasters and tragedies,” Mr. Brown says.