California wildfires

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FEMA Struck by a 'Major Privacy Incident'

Agency disclosed sensitive data of more than 2M disaster survivors, per DHS IG report

(Newser) - Survivors may still be picking up the pieces after the natural disasters that have swept across the country over the past couple of years, and now they have a new issue to contend with: the possibility of identity theft thanks to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling a... More »

Report: 'Line Slap' Sparked California's 2nd Biggest Fire

SCE equipment triggered 2 fires, which merged: Ventura County Fire Department

(Newser) - Amid high winds, two Southern California Edison power lines slapped together on a canyon-side cattle ranch on Dec. 4, 2017. And that "line slap" is how the Thomas fire , the second largest wildfire in California’s history, reportedly began. The resulting electrical arc "deposited hot, burning or molten... More »

Family Believes Dog Missing 101 Days Ate Skunk to Survive

Kingston jumped from the family truck as they fled the town of Paradise

(Newser) - A dog named Kingston is back with his family 101 days after he jumped out of their truck as they fled a devastating Northern California wildfire. The 12-year-old Akita was reunited Monday with the Ballejos family, who fled the town of Paradise late last year, Sacramento television station KXTV reported.... More »

In Wake of Calif. Wildfires, PG&E Makes a Big Move

Largest utility in America files for bankruptcy

(Newser) - America's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., filed for bankruptcy Tuesday as it faces billions of dollars in potential damages from wildfires in California. The utility filed documents in a US court seeking Chapter 11 reorganization despite state investigators determining last week that its equipment wasn't to... More »

Wildfire Report Is Good News for PG&E

State investigators say California utility not to blame for 2017 Tubbs Fire

(Newser) - In a long-awaited report, state investigators said Thursday that a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Northern California wine country was caused by a private electrical system, not equipment of embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The state's firefighting agency concluded that the fire started next to a... More »

Erin Brockovich Hammered PG&E. Now She Wants to Save It

It's all about getting money for California's wildfire victims

(Newser) - Consumer activist Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the 1990s, urged California lawmakers Tuesday not to let the utility go bankrupt—because it could mean less money for wildfire victims. "I'm mad, I think we should all be mad," Brockovich said... More »

Utility That Serves 16M Declares Bankruptcy

Liabilities for state wildfires are just too expensive for PG&E

(Newser) - California's largest utility is crying uncle. PG&E Corp said Monday it will file for bankruptcy protection as it deals with billions in possible liability costs over huge state wildfires, the Wall Street Journal reports. The utility and its main unit, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., plan to file... More »

Trump Had Warned California. Today, Another Shot Fired

President says he's cutting off FEMA money unless state gets 'act together, which is unlikely'

(Newser) - When President Trump demanded California get its wildfires in check , he apparently meant business. "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen," Trump said in a Wednesday tweet, ultimately replaced with one in which "... More »

Wildfire Cleanup Workers Fired for 'Reprehensible' Photos

One of them joked about the remains of a dead pet

(Newser) - Three wildfire cleanup workers in California have been fired for clowning around in the ruins of people's homes and posting what the town of Paradise calls "reprehensible" photos on social media. One photo shows the burned remains of a pet cat with a bottle near its mouth and... More »

Dog Guards Burnt Calif. Home for Weeks

Paradise homeowner finds her dog guarding the ruins

(Newser) - A survivor of the catastrophic Camp Fire in Northern California returned this week to find her dog there, guarding the ruins of her home. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," homeowner Andrea Gaylord tells WKYC3 . "It was so... More »

Residents Given Hazmat Suits for Return to Paradise

They were allowed back for first time since blaze

(Newser) - Nearly four weeks after the devastating blaze leveled her California town, Jennifer Christensen was allowed to return to her home in Paradise, where the first thing she saw was her son's charred tricycle in the front yard. Christensen was among hundreds of residents who were allowed back into neighborhoods... More »

Man Will Hand $1K Check to Each Paradise High Student

San Diego businessman was moved by their plight

(Newser) - A San Diego businessman is donating $1 million in the wake of Northern California's devastating Camp Fire—but he's doing so in an unconventional way. Bob Wilson, 89, plans to pass out $1,000 checks on Tuesday to each of the 980 students and 105 staff members from... More »

Catastrophic Cali Fire Is Finally Contained

The Camp fire is surrounded by firefighters

(Newser) - A massive wildfire that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in Northern California has been fully contained after burning for more than two weeks, authorities said Sunday, the AP reports. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the Camp fire had been surrounded by firefighters... More »

Rain Helps Put Out California's Deadliest Fire

But downpour will bring new hazards

(Newser) - The deadliest wildfire in California is now 90% contained after firefighters got some help from the region's first major rainstorm of the season. The rain in northern California also helped bring the Bay Area's air quality from a "very unhealthy" rating to "good," though it... More »

In California, an Example of 'What Thanksgiving's About'

Businesses, volunteers teaming up to provide meal to those displaced by Camp Fire

(Newser) - The Camp Fire in northern California has killed at least 83 people, with the number rising daily, and has displaced tens of thousands of others. Hundreds are unaccounted for. It won't be a normal Thanksgiving for any of those families, but businesses and hundreds of volunteers have stepped up... More »

Daughter of Man Killed in Wildfire Sues Utility

PG&E faces potentially catastrophic financial penalties

(Newser) - Investigators still haven't settled on the cause of the California wildfire that has killed more than 80 people so far, but another lawsuit is pinning the blame squarely on the utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The AP reports that Neva Rodrigues, whose 73-year-old father was killed in the fire,... More »

Finnish Leader: No Idea Where Trump Got His 'Raking' Idea

Finland's president says he didn't mention it during chat on forest management

(Newser) - Finland's president isn't sure where President Trump got the idea that raking is part of his country's routine for managing its substantial forests. Trump told reporters Saturday while visiting the ruins of the northern California town where a fire killed at least 76 people that wildfires weren'... More »

Trump in Cali: 'I Think ... Everybody's Seen the Light'

The president still sees no effect of climate change

(Newser) - From the ashes of a mobile home and RV park, President Donald Trump said Saturday he came to the heart of California's killer wildfire to fully grasp the scale of the desolation wrought on the landscape, the AP reports. "We're going to have to work quickly. ... Hopefully... More »

Was Trump Right About Cali Wildfires?

Scientists weigh in

(Newser) - With President Trump blaming forest management for California wildfires, many wonder about the role of climate change—and scientists say it is a factor, National Geographic reports. While wildfires are normal in California, the state's fires have generally gotten larger since 2000 as hotter and drier years go on... More »

Trump Slams California Right Before Visiting

State officials say 1K are still missing

(Newser) - President Donald Trump heads to Northern California on Saturday to see firsthand the grief and devastation from the deadliest US wildfire in a century amid confusion over how many people remain unaccounted for, the AP reports. Authorities confirmed a new death toll of 71 and say they are trying to... More »

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