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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Valley And Butte Fires Cause Destruction In Northern California

Cal Fire says the recent rain may not help the firefight.

The Valley and Butte Fires in Northern California are some of the most destructive in the state’s history.  

Overall, more than 100,000 acres have been destroyed in the fires.  The LA Times reports that the fires have displaced more than 20,000 people and destroyed more than 750 homes. Four firefighters have been injured and one person has died.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean has been battling the flames. He says in some places, there’s nothing left.  

Weather has played a role with dry conditions abetting recent wildfires.

McLean says, “There is no more normal. We’ve been in a drought for four to five years, if not longer.”

One might think today’s rainy weather conditions would aid firefighters. But McLean says Along with the storm, comes the wind and the wind almost negates the cooling and high humidity.”

The Valley Fire alone has burned over 67,000 acres with 15 percent containment, which is up from 13 percent Monday.

These fires burn hot. They burn fast and they don’t discriminate,” McLean said. 

According the McLean the best defense is to be prepared.

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