Camp Fire Deadliest in CA History
The Camp Fire burning in northern California has now become the deadliest wildfire in California history. Officials continue to search for nearly 100 people who remain unaccounted for. As of early Tuesday morning, officials have confirmed 42 fatalities.
This surpasses the Griffith Park fire, which killed 29 people in October of 1933. Twenty-seven lives were lost as civilians tried to fight the fire in LA’s Griffith Park. Two additional people died at hospitals afterwards.
The Camp Fire has burned 125,000 acres and is only 30% contained. 6,522 residences and 260 commercial structures have been destroyed. Over 5,100 fire personnel continue to battle the blaze.
While the official cause of the fire remains under investigation, a California power company, PG&E, experienced outages minutes before the Camp Fire was reported. The company told regulators, “In the afternoon of November 8, PG&E observed by aerial patrol damage to a transmission tower on the Caribou-Palermo 115 kV transmission line, approximately one mile north-east of the town of Pulga, in the area of the camp fire.” Officials from the company are fully cooperating with investigators as they continue to look into what ignited the deadly fire.
Utility companies have been faulted for major wildfires in the past due to inadequate maintenance of their power infrastructure. This includes both equipment maintenance and proper care and removal of trees and brush around power structures.
Gusty Santa Ana winds have calmed, at least in the northern part of the state, which will assist fire fighters. Unfortunately, extremely critical fire weather conditions will persist in southern California today where the Woolsey Fire continues to burn.