California Is Still Burning To The Ground After Several Days Ablaze

The fires in California are still blazing out of control, and now the death count is up to 23. Here’s the latest on the ongoing disaster out West…

From the US Wildfire Activity Map

President Trump declared the wildfires has already declared the wildfires a national disaster:

The Trump administration on Tuesday approved a federal disaster declaration for California in response to wildfires that have swept across the state.

Vice President Pence announced the decision during a meeting in the state capital of Sacramento with emergency responders.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) had requested federal assistance to combat the deadly fires.

From CNN:

(CNN)In some areas in Sonoma County, the wildfires that have ravaged tens of thousands of acres died down enough Wednesday for the sheriff’s department to check on more than 600 missing persons reports by visiting burned-out neighborhoods.

In many other cases, detectives used telephones to track down people who are unaccounted for.
Still, 285 people remain missing in just this one county, people who authorities pray are still alive but have no way to contact police or their loved ones.
 But there is some dread that the death toll — 23 in the region — from the Northern California wildfires will rise as more areas cool down and searchers discover what’s left.
Some interaction on Twitter over the last couple days:

Today, the evacuations and devastation continues. From the L.A. Times:

Dennis DeVilbiss had made up his mind.

“I’m not leaving,” the former cop and firefighter said Wednesday afternoon as he stood on his front porch in Calistoga, a wine country town under threat from an approaching wildfire. Authorities had ordered its 5,000 residents to evacuate.

He glanced at smoke drifting over nearby trees, and smiled. “I’m not stupid,” said DeVilbiss, 60. “If it’s time to run, I’ll run like hell.”

As the death toll from 16 wildfires raging in Northern California climbed Wednesday, thousands more residents in Calistoga and elsewhere were ordered to flee their homes and firefighters raced against the setting sun to douse smoldering hot spots before devilish winds returned to breathe new life into the blazes.

Of course, as per thin veil of civil society tradition:

SONOMA COUNTY, CA — Santa Rosa police have arrested three suspected looters since Monday in areas evacuated because of the Tubbs Fire, a police sergeant said. Kelly Thomas Martin, 48, of Santa Rosa, was arrested in the 2600 block of Cleveland Avenue on outstanding warrants and on suspicion of drug
possession, Sgt. Jeneane Kucker said.

Tammara Lavette Hill, 48, of Santa Rosa was also contacted in the 2600 block as a suspected looter. She was arrested on outstanding warrants.

Patrick Brian Daly, 28, of Santa Rosa, was contacted in the area of Peterson Lane and Velma Avenue as a suspected looter, Kucker said.

Daly allegedly stole a bicycle and threatened the bike’s owner with a knife. He also was in possession of another stolen bicycle and narcotics, Kucker said.

He was arrested for robbery, receiving stolen property, possession of narcotics and violation of probation, Kucker said.