Deadliest fire makes history in California

2018 has been one of the deadliest and most destructive years in California history. The recent “Camp Fire” wildfire in Paradise, California has proven to be the deadliest fire on record that the state has seen. The fire has killed 50 people statewide. 

Fires have plagued the state for months, totaling at 7,579 wildfires, according to the California Statewide Fire Map. Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire are three of the worst wildfires California has seen and they are all making progress simultaneously.

Washburn’s Sophia Frick, freshman at Washburn, feels the heartbreak in Kansas. Frick reflects on her empathy and distraught for the state of California.

“I think that it’s scary to think how it would affect me. It’s just really sad,” Frick said. “I even feel for the wildlife.”

A new lawsuit is attempting to put the blame for Camp Fire on Pacific Gas & Electric, a major utility, for not maintaining and regularly inspecting their power lines. Pacific Gas & Electric deny the allegations and have been helping first responders.

There are 88 people dead, 203 people still missing, mostly ranging in the 80 to 90 age, which could raise the possibility for more recovered people. According to the Town of Paradise website, Paradise is an old, quaint town that has served as a retirement community for many.

The list of lost persons has been released to the public. The community has been requested to contact authorities if said persons are spotted so they can be removed from the list.

Several people died in their cars when the heat of the fire melted the aluminum wheels, much like what happened in the Tubbs Fire last year. The one exit street out of Paradise did not make it easy for people to evacuate the city.

In a tweet, President Trump has said he blames poor forest management for the litany of fires the state has experienced over the past year. Firefighters have expressed their concern for the “reckless and insulting” statement.

Teal Tobin, freshman at Washburn University, feels more than sadness. Tobin is angry at the state of governmental support California is receiving.

“It’s ridiculous that there’s a natural disaster hurting hundreds, thousands of people, and the president is on the side of the fire,” Tobin said. 

Authorities have requested for the National Guard to join in the efforts of recovery alongside cadaver dogs, mobile morgues and anthropology teams. Loved ones of those who are lost are making great efforts to help search in the midst of the fire.

Camp Fire has devastated over 18,792 structures on 153,336 acres of land. As of Nov. 25, Camp Fire was reported to be 100 percent contained. The potential for the amount of destroyed land to grow is plausible.

Wildfires were once just an issue of the rural areas in California, however recently we’ve seen them become urban nightmares. The Woolsey fire, making progress in southern California, has infiltrated Miami and has killed at least two people.

Fires have devastated California for years now. 2018 has been the worst of the wildfires.