West Coast wildfires’ death toll climbs to 33

At least 33 people have been killed in the wildfires raging from California to Washington state.

The historic blazes have killed 10 people in Oregon, 22 in California, and at least one person in Washington state.

Millicent Catarancuic, 77, was among those killed in the blazes after she changed her mind on whether to leave her home in Berry Creek, California.

She had prepared to evacuate with her dogs and cats before changing her mind as the winds seemed to die down and fire appeared to be a safe distance away. But then the blazes changed direction, quickly reaching her property before she could escape them.

Officials said the death toll is likely to rise since there are more people unaccounted for in the fires.

And it’s unclear when some of the fire-ravaged regions might see a reprieve.

Doug Grafe, chief of fire protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry, said residents could expect some of the blazes to burn for months because “that’s simply the reality of having that much fire,” Oregon Live reported.

There were 16 infernos over the weekend throughout the state, half of which may not be extinguished until winter, he said.

Grafe said he predicts the eight fires “will be on our landscape until the winter rains fall.”

“Those fires represent close to 1 million acres … We will see smoke and we will have firefighters on those fires up until the heavy rains,” he said.

Meanwhile, there were 28 major wildfires Saturday across the Golden State, though improved weather conditions helped firefighters better control or put out most of them.

Still, officials warned that there’s no end in sight for the devastating wildfire season.

“While weather conditions have improved compared to last weekend, warm and dry conditions persist through much of the state, although onshore flow early next week should help with humidity levels,” Cal Fire said in a statement Sunday.

“With the changes in weather conditions, we may see the return of critical fire weather next week.”

With Post Wires

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article