Visit the website of the LA Times and read the stories, made all the more heartbreaking by the matter of fact manner in which the reports are written.
Living in a state that is also one of the worst in the world for wildfire (we call them bushfires), I can relate only too well.
My heart goes out to the people caught up in the Valley Fire and the Butte Fire in California. The latest reports from the LA Times are brutal:
Valley fire (as of 6:30 a.m.)
- 61,000 acres burned
- 5% contained
- 13,000 people displaced
- 400 structures destroyed
- 1,255 fire workers
- 4 injured firefighters
- 1 confirmed death
Butte fire (as of 6:30 a.m.)
- 71,063 acres burned
- 30% contained
- 10,000 people displaced
- 6,400 structures threatened
- 35 homes, 79 outbuildings destroyed; 4 structures damaged
- 4,409 fire workers
- More than 6,000 homes evacuated
With warming, it's not just the area burnt, it's the ferocity of fires. And the difficulties of fighting them. In some cases, the firefighting aircraft can't fly because of cloud and smoke cover. It's difficult for the firefighters to know exactly what is burning where. It's easy to forget that if you stay to protect your property, the water might not flow. Or a fireball will erupt. Shallow dams are no protection in a fierce firestorm. And if you change your mind and decide to leave because the fire is too big and fast and fierce, the road might be blocked by fallen trees. All these things happened here, too, a few short years ago. People don't know if they've a home to go back to or not, and too many don't.
And don't forget how hard it is to breathe when there's thick smoke all around. It gets in your eyes and your lungs. (Every fire plan pack should have face masks, proper ones, as well as water and protective clothing (cotton and wool, not flammable plasticky stuff, and decent boots)).
I know that other parts of North America have been ravaged by fire this season, too.
But not a peep on denier blogs. All that Anthony Watts wants is to stop funding climate modeling experiments. He doesn't want to know about climate and he doesn't want anyone else to know either. On his blog he's got an article suggesting spending money on climate research is insanity. I'm not joking. Doesn't he know that fires are only going to get worse over the coming decades? You think it's bad now? Just wait a bit.
Just as ludicrous was his comment today about Alaska (which had a huge number of fires this season), when he implied that all the melting ice on land and sea, and all the high temperatures were caused by warm pockets of humanity.
Well, California has a lot of warm pockets of humanity without a home, after the events of the past few days. Not that you'd know anything about that, if you relied on climate conspiracy blogs like WUWT.
Here's a video of someone who left it rather late to drive to safety. Thankfully not too late.
Have your fire plan ready, leave early and be safe, people. Fire is deadly.