US: Year's most destructive California wildfire declared extinguished after two weeks - - PressFrom - US
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US Year's most destructive California wildfire declared extinguished after two weeks

05:40  08 november  2019
05:40  08 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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(Reuters) - California ' s biggest, most ruinous wildfire this year , a wind-driven blaze that scorched 120 square miles (310 square kilometers) of Sonoma County wine country and consumed scores of homes, was declared fully contained and extinguished on Thursday, two weeks after erupting.

(Reuters) - California ’ s biggest, most ruinous wildfire this year , a wind-driven blaze that scorched 120 square miles (310 square kilometers) of Sonoma County wine country and consumed scores of homes, was declared fully contained and extinguished on Thursday, two weeks after erupting.

(Reuters) - California's biggest, most ruinous wildfire this year, a wind-driven blaze that scorched 120 square miles (310 square kilometers) of Sonoma County wine country and consumed scores of homes, was declared fully contained and extinguished on Thursday, two weeks after erupting.

a man standing on top of a snow covered mountain: FILE PHOTO: Two firefighters watch from the top of a hill as the Kincade fire burns below in Calistoga, California© Reuters/Stephen Lam FILE PHOTO: Two firefighters watch from the top of a hill as the Kincade fire burns below in Calistoga, California

The Kincade fire alone accounts for nearly a third of the 250,000-plus acres (101,000 hectares) laid to waste by blazes since January, many during a series of violent windstorms of historic proportion that swept California last month.

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California ’ s biggest, most ruinous wildfire this year , a wind-driven blaze that scorched 310 square kilometersof Sonoma County wine country and consumed scores of homes, was declared fully contained and extinguished on Thursday, two weeks after erupting.

The Tubbs fire destroyed at least 5,200 homes and structures, shown on the map below, making it the most destructive wildfire in state history, as well as one of the deadliest. The Times analysis also shows how quickly the fire spread in the crucial initial hours.

The tally of more than 400 structures damaged or destroyed in the Kincade fire also represents over half the property losses from all California wildfires this year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

Still, California's current fire season to date pales by comparison to an epic spate of conflagrations in 2017 and 2018 that ranks as the deadliest and most destructive in state history.

Nearly 150 lives were lost in wildfires during those two years, including 85 who perished in the Camp fire, which virtually incinerated the Northern California town of Paradise a year ago on Friday and stands as the state's most lethal blaze on record. Cal Fire lists just three wildfire fatalities so far this year.

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Biggest wildfire in California ' s history is declared extinguished SIX MONTHS after it first started, burning more than 440 square miles. Los Padres National Forest officials made the designation after detecting no hotspots within the perimeter of the Thomas fire for more than two months.

The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season ever recorded in California , with a total of 8,527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres (766,439 ha)

clouds in the dark: FILE PHOTO: A horse statue is silhouetted by a burning structure during the wind-driven Kincade Fire in Windsor, California© Reuters/Stephen Lam FILE PHOTO: A horse statue is silhouetted by a burning structure during the wind-driven Kincade Fire in Windsor, California

Although weeks remain of a fire season that now effectively runs through December, the 2019 tally of a quarter-million acres burned falls far short of the 1.2 million acres and 1.6 million acres that went up in flames in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Thousands of homes were destroyed.

A number of factors have been cited for the reduced wildfire toll in 2019, including redoubled readiness and prevention efforts and favorable weather through the first half of the year.

"We had a great winter, in terms of rainfall, with a really good snow pack, and no winds to speak of for most of the year," Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said.

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(AP) — The largest wildfire in recorded California history is officially out nearly six months after it began. Los Padres National Forest officials declared the Thomas fire extinguished Friday after detecting no hotspots within the perimeter for more than two months.

– Officials declared the largest wildfire in recorded California history officially extinguished Friday, nearly six months after it ignited and later Los Padres National Forest officials made the designation after detecting no hotspots within the perimeter of the Thomas fire for more than two months.

Those conditions gave way to the onset of heavy blasts of dry, gale-force winds blowing in from desert areas in October, the traditional peak of fire season.

When fires did ignite, many communities in harm's way likely benefited from having more "defensible space" thanks to greater emphasis on fuel-reduction projects aimed at removing excess vegetation that might otherwise burn.

Governor Gavin Newsom also allocated extra money to pre-stage firefighting strike teams and equipment in strategic spots, allowing local authorities to respond to fires more swiftly, McLean said.

The jury was still out on the success of another major change in preparedness - increased use of wide-scale, precautionary power shut-offs by utilities during high winds to reduce the risk of electric lines sparking fires.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. made particular use of this strategy in October, cutting off electricity to millions of residents in a move the governor and state regulators criticized as badly managed.

PG&E has acknowledged that the Kincade fire erupted near the base of a damaged high-voltage transmission tower where one of its lines malfunctioned about the time the blaze started, though the fire's cause remains under investigation.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Culver City, California; editing by Bill Tarrant and Sandra Maler)

PG&E is offering $13.5 billion in compensation to wildfire victims .
Bankrupt utility giant PG&E Corp. is offering $13.5 billion in compensation to the victims of wildfires sparked by its power lines as part of a restructuring plan, according to people with knowledge of the situation. In doing so, the San Francisco-based power company is trying to provide the same amount that a group of its creditors -- led by Pacific Investment Management Co. and Elliott Management Corp. -- has agreed to pay victims in a rival reorganization proposal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

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