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Death Toll From California’s Wildfires Jumps As Officials Deal With Staggering Losses

REUTERS/Gene Blevins

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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More than 30 people have died in California as wildfires continue to blaze through parts of the state, officials said Monday.

Destruction from the fires now equals that of the 1933 Griffith Park disaster in Los Angeles. The Woolsey Fire in the south has claimed two lives and destroyed tourist resort Malibu, while 29 more people died in the Camp Fire to the north.

An estimated 250,000 people were forced to evacuate to avoid three major blazes in the state. They have burned more than 111,000 acres and is nearly 25 percent contained, fire officials said.

The Woolsey Fire burns in Malibu, California, U.S. November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Firefighters hose down the Malibu post office during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California, U.S. November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

Containment includes creating physical barriers around a fire that prevents spreading – rivers and shallow trenches dug by fire crews. A fire is 100 percent contained only when barriers are wrapped around the fire’s entire perimeter. The blaze can continue to scorch ground despite full containment.

Reports suggest that utility PG&E may be to blame for at least one of the deadly blazes. State officials earlier in 2018 blamed PG&E power lines, conductors and power poles for 12 deadly Northern California fires that raged in 2017. (RELATED: Arizona Firefighters Head To California To Help Battle Blazes Rampaging State)

Several wildfires have whipsawed California recently. The Carr Fire became the ninth largest fire in the state’s history in July 2018. It burned more than 100,000 acres and killed six people near Redding. Fires killed six people and destroyed more than 100,000 acres that month.

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