West Coast Wildfires Continue to Rage, Death Toll Hits At Least 40 People

by Halle Ames
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As of Monday, two new wildfires have started in California. Three people are dead in Shasta County, bringing the death toll to at least 40 people.

The two new fires, the Zogg Fire and the Glass Fire, are currently uncontained and have burned more than 67,000 acres by Monday evening. Thousands of people have been evacuated in the Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Since the start of the devastating wildfires on the West Coast, the blazes have left at least 40 people dead, burning more than 7,000 structures, and destroying more than five million acres of land across California, Oregon, and Washington. This year has set a record as the most destructive one with months to go until the rainy season.

In a news conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said a “substantial” number of structures, including wineries, have been burn. He also said there was “a lot of consternation in and around that region that has been hit over and over and over again.”

“As of right now, there’s zero containment,” Jimmy Zanotelli, a public information officer with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, said in reference to the Zogg Fire. “We’re still seeing some fire growth and some critical fire rates of spread, so it’s been a challenge.”

Cause of the Wildfires

Experts have linked the devastating fires to climate change, saying that the blazes will become more frequent and catastrophic in the future.

The cause of both the Zogg and Glass fire is still unknown. However, some residents say they heard explosions prior to the start of the Glass Fire. Michael Mann, chief executive of WineCountry Media, says that the fires and explosions could be due to a propane tank.

Meteorologists in the area warn about more fire-prone conditions this week. Residents can expect another dry heatwave with high winds and low humidity.

Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire, said that close to 8,500 homes, or 12,000 people, were under evacuation orders. Over 1,500 firefighters are also battling the blazes.

[H/T The New York Times]

Outsider.com