Deadly Cal­i­for­nia fires ex­plode again

Cebu Daily News - - WORLD -

SANTA ROSA, Cal­i­for­nia — The wild­fires tear­ing through Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try flared anew on Wed­nes­day, grow­ing in size and num­ber as au­thor­i­ties is­sued new evac­u­a­tion or­ders and an­nounced that hun­dreds more homes and busi­nesses had been lost. The death toll climbed to 21 and was ex­pected to still in­crease.

At least 3,500 homes and busi­nesses have been de­stroyed since the fires started on Sun­day, mak­ing it the third dead­li­est and most de­struc­tive blazes in state his­tory.

“We have had big fires in the past. This is one of the big­gest, most se­ri­ous, and it’s not over,” Gov. Jerry Brown said at a news con­fer­ence, along­side the state’s top emer­gency of­fi­cials, who said that 8,000 firefighters and other per­son­nel were bat­tling the in­fer­nos and more re­sources were pour­ing in from Ore­gon, Ne­vada, Washington and Ari­zona.

Nearly three days af­ter the flames ig­nited, firefighters were still un­able to gain con­trol of the blazes. Cal­i­for­nia De­part- ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion spokesman Daniel Ber­lant said 22 wild­fires were burn­ing, up from 17 on Tues­day.

“Make no mis­take, this is a se­ri­ous, crit­i­cal, cat­a­strophic event,” said Ken Pim­lott, chief of the de- part­ment. He said the fires have burned through a stag­ger­ing 686 square kilo­me­ters of ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. The re­turn of high winds and low hu­mid­ity ig­nited the ground that was parched from years of drought.

/AP

A flag is draped on the back of a truck that was de­stroyed by fires in Santa Rosa, Cal­i­for­nia, Wed­nes­day.

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