STATESIDE STORIES–The Wildfires in California: Devastation in Paradise!

NewssliderUSA & Other Regions
California wildfire: after dropping water on fire all day,  a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter
from the California Army National Guard’s B Company returns to
Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos
by Mary Foran

31 dead and 200 missing so far is the toll in wildfires that have run rampant in Northern and Southern California over the past week, wiping out the town of Paradise, California.

Homes have been leveled, as have businesses, schools, retirement centers in a community of some 26,000 people. It will be a week before residents will be let back in to go through the devastation, and water and power is still out.

On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted. By evening, the fast-moving fire had charred 18,000 acres and remained zero percent contained. NASA’s Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired the above image in that morning. The natural-color image was created using bands 4-3-2, along with shortwave infrared light to highlight the active fire.

The three main fires in California are under investigation, with the Northern Camp Fire considered the deadliest in the State’s history. The celebrity enclave of Malibu has also been affected by fire, with the Woolsey fire claiming Gerard Butler’s home, the Westworld set at Paramount’s Western Town Ranch, “The Bachelor”‘s Mansion, Alyssa Milano’s threatened home, Caitlyn Jenner’s, Lady Gaga’s, and Kim Kardashian West’s and family.

Evacuated from their homes were Scott Baio, Rainn Wilson, and Guillermo del Toro, plus the director of “Dr. Strange”, Scott Derrickson, whose home was destroyed. Malibu, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, and other nearby areas were evacuated.

“Doctor Strange” director Scott Derrickson: his home was destroyed

Hurricane force winds have been fueling the fires in Southern California where 13 million people are in critical fire danger. President Trump has been quoted as saying that the reason for the fires is “gross mismanagement” of the forests of the region.

Thousand Oaks California, besides fighting fires, has been in the news because of the horrific shooting of 12 young people in a country-western nightclub called The Borderline Bar and Grill. The gunman forced his way into the nightspot and started shooting the college-aged young people, including a security guard and a police officer. The gunman was identified as David Long, a 28-year-old US Marine Corps Veteran, who was thought to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was found dead at the end of the shooting spree, thought to have killed himself.

California has seen its fair share of disasters and even the rich and famous have been affected this time.

> Featured image/U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Crystal Housman, PD. (Pic shows the  Black Hawk helicopter taking off from Camarillo Airport, California, Dec. 9, 2017 after dropping water on the Thomas Fire, to return to Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. By night, the Thomas Fire had burned 173,000 acres and destroyed over 500 structures since it started Dec. 4.)
> Campsite fire/NASA, PD
> “Dr. Strange” poster, Fair use via Wikipedia