Paradise Lost

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As California once again reels from the fires, many are warning this is climate change in action

As the deadliest wild-fires ever to hit California continue to rage, an estimated 31 people are known to have died, with over 200 still missing. Some 250,000 have been forced to flee their homes. Over 100,000 acres of land has been burnt, including luxury homes in Malibu.

Image: JOSH EDELSON/GETTY IMAGES

As California once again reels from the fires, many are warning this is climate change in action.

The town of Paradise in Northern California, home to 23,000 people, has effectively been destroyed by what is known as the “Camp Fire”, and is now described as a ghost town. The grim headline in the Guardian said: “Only bones and fragments”.

At one stage the fire that engulfed Paradise traveled 11 miles in 11 hours or 80 acres a minute. One fire-fighter who had been involved in trying to put out the blaze, observed: “It’s devastation, total devastation, it’s pretty incredible something like this occurred,” “We’ve gone through lots of wildfire over the years, this is the worst I’ve seen personally.”

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19 firefighters killed battling Arizona blaze

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ariz. wildfire

Image David Kadlubowski, The Arizona Republic

Nineteen elite firefighters who died battling a fast-moving wildfire here Sunday in the country’s worst wildfire disaster in 80 years have been hailed by President Obama as “heroes.”

In a statement released early Monday as he prepared to travel to Tanzania from South Africa, Obama said, “Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters.”

Gusting winds and dry grass fed the blaze as it tore through the communities of Yarnell and Glen Isla about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. An estimated 200 homes and many businesses have been destroyed.

Early Monday, local media reported the fire was zero percent contained.

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