Never before has California experienced such devastating fires: thousands of buildings have been destroyed, tens of thousands of hectares of forests gone up in smoke. Hundreds of thousands have fled the flames, but there are now at least 31 dead. A figure that could still increase.
228 people are still missing, warned Kory Honea, the Sheriff of Butte County. It is in this zone of the north of the State that the “Camp Fire” rages. A fire that, with more than 6,700 buildings destroyed, including a hospital and homes, is already the most destructive ever recorded in California.
Eight hundred kilometres further south, the flames of other fires, including the largest called “Wolsey Fire”, devour everything in their path and threaten the Los Angeles area. Near Sacramento and the popular resort town of Malibu, 250,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
More than 8,000 firefighters have been fighting since last week against these walls of fire. But for now, they control just 25% of fires. And the situation is likely to worsen: hot, dry winds from the interior of the country have risen and could spread fire in the coming days.
The cause of the fire has not been identified. According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper, local power officials told the California authorities that a breakdown had occurred near where it started.