More deaths are expected, say officials in the region, as fires continue to rage, leveling forested land, single homes, and entire subdivisions. The most destructive of them, the Tubbs fire, killed 15 people, as newly released statistics also laid bare the extent of the damage, the San Jose Mercury News reported. In all, 31 people have died so far.
Officials say the fire destroyed 2,834 homes and about 400,000 square feet of commercial space, as Mayor Chris Coursey said he expected those numbers to increase.
“We all have suffered a trauma here,” he told the paper, adding that it will take time to bounce back “from this incident.”
He added: “The city of Santa Rosa has suffered a serious blow.”
Firefighting resources have continued to pour into the Golden State, though Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said he and other officials believe the fires will keep behaving “erratically” while having “the potential to shift in any direction at any time.”
That likely will happen this weekend, as forecasters say they are expecting heavy winds. As USA Today reports:
Firefighters face another devastating round of the low humidity, dry foliage and strong weekend wind gusts up to 60 mph Friday as they battle more than 20 blazes in the deadliest week of wildfires in state history.
“We had a series of statewide fires in 2003, 2007, 2008 that didn’t have anything close to this death count,” Daniel Berlant, a deputy director in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the paper. In all, some 25,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes; flames that have destroyed entire subdivisions have left thousands more homeless.
As an aside, among the homes in Santa Rosa that were leveled by fire was one built in the 1970s by the late “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz (Full disclosure: I was a huge Peanuts fan growing up and remain one to this day). His widow, Jean Schultz, got out of the house before it caught fire, said her stepson.
As for the cause of the fires, some have speculated that a spark from a Pacific Gas and Electric power line or transformer may have ignited surrounding foliage but officials are not yet sure. Others, however, are blaming human-caused “climate change” and global warming. (Related: Make energy expensive again: California cities SUE oil companies over bogus ‘climate change’ hoax.)
As fires raged across the state last year, The Daily Beast placed blame for them squarely on “climate change,” and even got officials in the state to agree with the conclusion.
“There have been a lot of days over 100 degrees,” said Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff. “And despite some rain over the past winter, even the reservoirs are rapidly draining.”
Others blamed the fires on the hoax of global warming/climate change as well, despite the fact that wildfires have been ignited and have raged around the world for billions of years. In fact, in a National Geographic video posted on the network’s Facebook Page, “life breeds fire.”
“Billions of years ago, the proliferation of life on our planet set the stage for the very first spark,” it said.
It was likely weather — not the “climate” — that ignited the world’s first wildfire, say experts, via sparks from lightning. And while modern technology like electrical lines can and have caused fires in this day and age, it’s not because of “climate change.”
And yet, there are still far too many sheep who willingly believe such nonsense as they blame all natural disasters — fires, storms, hurricanes — on phenomena humans have no control over whatsoever.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.