It was a weekend of heavy smoke, and heavier hearts for many affected by the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire in the south. As of right now, about 8am Monday morning, here’s what we know about the fires.
You experienced a lot of the smoke here in Sacramento over the weekend, and even this morning. The smoke started descending on the valley around noon on Saturday, and it was extremely thick. The smoke has been causing a lot of breathing issues, and has cancelled outdoor events all across town. It’s probably more of the same for at least another few days. As of right now, unfortunately we have to report that 29 people have been killed by the Camp Fire that’s burning up in Chico. Another 228 residents are “unaccounted” for, but it’s possible they’re just out of contact in shelters or evacuation centers. Nearly the entire town of Paradise is gone, with burned structures standing where homes and schools used to be. Restaurants, apartments, a grocery store, and even a fire station – all gone.
The Camp Fire is being considered the deadliest California fire of the past 85 years. It’s also called the most destructive, with 6,700 structures burned. It was also a windy weekend up there, which caused the fire to spread more rapidly. Luckily, this morning the wind has calmed down, so firefighters will be able to take the fire out a little bit more easily. The fire is around 111,000 acres in size, and a little more than 25% contained. There’s a lot more on the Camp Fire here.
The Woolsey Fire down near Malibu is about 86,000 acres in size, and is threatening thousands of homes. Many celebrities have lost their homes already, including Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, and Neil Young. It’s only about 15% contained so far, but firefighters are working as hard as they can to contain that fire quickly. The Woolsey Fire has claimed 2 lives.
The Hill Fire:
This fire is burning near the Woolsey fire, and while smaller, is still destructive. It’s a little over 4,500 acres in size, which is still massive. The Hill Fire was 75% contained as of last night. See some more info on teh Woolsey and Hill Fires here.
Sacramento fire stations were passing out face masks over the weekend as well. The masks were free while supplies lasted, and most of them were picked up by residents. If you plan to use a mask, there are a few things to consider. According to the Sac Bee, they say you should use a mask that has an N95 or better rating. That means it can trap smaller particles, like what would be in fire smoke. Also, it’s not recommended to use them for a long period of time. So if you have some quick yard work or need to walk somewhere, it should be fine. Otherwise, it’s probably best to stay inside out of the air.