Now the Wild Fires
Now that we are finalizing the hurricane destruction, along comes the wild fires in California. The State Department Commandant Ray Valenzuela and I have had numerous phone and email conversations but it is far too early to make any determination about what aid is going to be given.
Ray is also the commandant of the detachment locate a short distance from Paradise, California, a town of 27,000 people that was totally destroyed and wiped out as was the small towns of Magalia, just north of it and Concow just north-east of Paradise. Add Parkhill to the south-east and it pretty well wipes out a sizable part of Butte County There are reported a total of 7,700 structures destroyed in the area and the fire is not out yet. Some are their detachment members.
Harold Taylor, a Vietnam veteran, said, "We did not have 10 minutes to get out of there." He left with just the clothes on his back. Most of the 100 people missing on one list from the area were in their 80s or 90s and it is highly unlikely that they made it out. Just a few minutes of hesitation was the wrong choice and their route would have been cut-off.
At least 85 people are now dead from a Northern California wildfire blaze known as "Camp Fire." Officials say they have a missing persons list with over 993 names on it of people who are unaccounted in an ever-evolving accounting of the victims of the nations deadliest wildfire in a century. The Camp Fire also stands as one of the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century. Firefighting crews made progress amid concerns that the death toll would rise as search teams work their way through the burned-out town of Paradise.
The Butte County disaster coincided with blazes in Southern California, including the "Woolsey Fire" and "Hill Fire", which has killed at least three people, destroyed more than 500 structures and at its height displaced 200,000 people west of Los Angeles.
It is expected that we will not have some closure for these fires for several weeks as Concow, Paradise, Parkhill and Magnolia are totally surrounded as of Sunday night. Here is what is known so far: Of those killed, 63 victims were found in Paradise, nine were located in Concow and four were in Magalia, according to the Butte County Sheriffs Office.
Eight people were found in cars, one victim was found outside a vehicle, 18 were found outside homes and 49 were located inside structures. Nearly 13,000 structures were destroyed, many of these were homes. 15,500 structures remain threatened. Thousands of people remain under evacuation orders. First responders from around the country are helping battle the blaze. More than 5,600 personnel are assigned to the fire, including firefighters from out of state.
When things quiet down, Slattery will assist with a donation to Ray. Right now things are too far up in the air. They can use your prayers.