Wildfire season is far from over, unfortunately. Drought-stricken California continues to take a beating, including devastating blazes in Napa County and the Sierras.
From the Asscociated Press:
A second massive blaze, less than 200 miles away, destroyed 135 homes as it spread through Amador and Calaveras counties in the Sierra Nevada. That fire was 30 percent contained.
Both fires have displaced 23,000 people, Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said at a news conference Monday. He says one person died in the wildfire about 20 miles north of the famed Napa Valley, and others are unaccounted for, but didn’t have further details.
The fire exploded in size within hours as it chewed through brush and trees parched from four years of drought, destroying 400 homes, two apartment complexes and 10 businesses since igniting Saturday, Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynn Valentine said. By Monday morning, crews had gained 5 percent containment of the 95-square-mile blaze.
Residents fled from Middletown, a town of more than 1,000 residents, dodging smoldering telephone poles, downed power lines and fallen trees as they drove through billowing smoke. Several hundred people spent Sunday night at the Napa County Fairgrounds and awoke to a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and doughnuts.
Evacuees milled around eating, picking up donated clothing and walking their dogs. Nancy O’Byrne, 57, was evacuated from her home in Middletown, but it’s still standing.
“I am very, very, very lucky. I have my house,” she said, her dog Nellie at her side. …
East of Fresno, the largest wildfire in the state continued to march away from the Sierra Nevada’s Giant Sequoia trees, some of which are 3,000 years old, fire spokesman Dave Schmitt said. The fire, which was sparked by lightning on July 31, has charred 211 square miles and was 36 percent contained Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service said.