California wildfires

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Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Is in Wildfire's Path

The Lake Fire is also threatening wineries in California's Los Olivos area

(Newser) - One of the largest wildfires currently burning in California has Michael Jackson's former home in its sights. The Lake Fire, which has grown to more than 18,000 acres since it broke out Friday afternoon, is burning in southern California's Santa Barbara County near Los Olivos, and along...

'Vast Majority' of California Evacuees Allowed Home

Crews are continuing to battle Thompson Fire near Oroville

(Newser) - Thousands of people evacuated during a Northern California wildfire were allowed to return home Thursday afternoon as crews continued battling flames amid scorching heat, officials said. Containment of the Thompson Fire near the city of Oroville in Butte County also increased to 29% from 7%, the AP reports. The "...

First California Wildfire a 'Taste of What's to Come'

Hot and windy conditions are fueling the Post Fire near Los Angeles

(Newser) - California's first major wildfire of the season is here, and the newly named Post Fire is not expected to enter the record books in terms of scale or damage. But the nature of the fire in Los Angeles County and the fact that it's only mid-June nonetheless has...

Fire Near Livermore Prompts Evacuations

Blaze pushed by high winds is 15% contained, officials say

(Newser) - A wind-driven fire continued to scorch thousands of acres 60 miles east of San Francisco on Sunday, prompting residents to flee their homes and the closure of two major freeways near the central California city of Tracy. The blaze was still spreading, officials said. The California Department of Forestry and...

Utility to Pay $80M Over 2017 California Wildfire

Under the terms, Southern California Edison does not accept blame

(Newser) - Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $80 million in connection with a huge 2017 wildfire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes and other structures. Federal prosecutors said Monday that the deal, in which the utility does not admit fault or wrongdoing, will settle claims on behalf of the...

Fatal Gender Reveal Stunt Leads to Jail Time

California's Refugio Jimenez Jr. cops to involuntary manslaughter after firefighter died in El Dorado Fire

(Newser) - A man whose family's gender reveal photo shoot sparked a Southern California wildfire that killed a firefighter in 2020 has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The El Dorado Fire erupted on Sept. 5, 2020, when Refugio Jimenez Jr., Angelina Jimenez, and their young children staged a photo shoot for...

After Years of Research, Expert Advice: Burn California's Forests

Burning, thinning, or a combination of both found to make trees more resilient to wildfire, drought

(Newser) - The findings of a 20-year study on the health of California forests will come as no surprise to Native Americans, whose ancestors traditionally managed land through controlled fires . The study out of the University of California-Berkeley confirms that prescribed burning, the use of controlled fire to clear debris; restoration thinning,...

Town Decimated by Fire Has New Obstacle to Rebuild

Homeowners in California town of Paradise find home insurance premiums have skyrocketed

(Newser) - The soaring cost of home insurance has consumed the California town of Paradise, residents and officials say, just after the five-year anniversary of the Nov. 8, 2018, Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. Residents have received annual premiums that are near or exceed $10,000—leaving many to...

California's Famous Forests Are in Jeopardy

Management practices, more intense fires, a warming climate among the factors

(Newser) - On a steep mountainside where walls of flames torched the forest on their way toward Lake Tahoe in 2021, blackened trees stand in silhouette against a gray sky. "If you can find a live tree, point to it," Hugh Safford, an environmental science and policy researcher at the...

In California, Crews Battle Fire Tornadoes

State's first big wildfire of the year erupted Friday, is still 0% contained

(Newser) - After a slow start to the wildfire season, California is feeling the heat with its biggest blaze of the year. First spotted Friday in the New York Mountains area of the Mojave National Preserve in eastern San Bernardino County, the York Fire had burned thorough 77,000 acres as of...

California Winemakers Doubling Up as Firefighters

'We play with pumps and hoses, too, except our hoses are full of wine'

(Newser) - Wildfire season is approaching in California—and winemakers are prepared. After devastating fires in Northern California wine country in recent years, winemakers have rebuilt with fire-resistant materials and learned firefighting techniques, the BBC reports. Alan Viader at Viader Vineyard and Winery in Napa Valley became a qualified firefighter after the...

100-Plus Homes Were Destroyed. Now, an Arrest

Edward Wackerman, 71, is suspected of setting devastating blaze in Mariposa County, California

(Newser) - An elderly man who lives near Yosemite National Park has been arrested after a forest fire there last year destroyed more than 125 homes. The AP reports that Edward Wackerman of Mariposa was taken into custody Friday, suspected of setting last summer's Oak Fire that burned nearly 20,000...

Another Insurer Stops Selling California Homeowner Policies

Allstate has put new policies in the state on pause

(Newser) - Another big insurance company has quietly stopped selling home insurance in California. Allstate, which in 2021 was the fourth-largest property and casualty insurance provider in the state, is no longer writing new homeowner, condo, or commercial insurance policies there, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The company says the pause on...

California Fire Levels Homes
Wildfire Rips Through Homes

Wildfire Rips Through Homes

About 100 structures are lost to California blaze that sent residents fleeing

(Newser) - A wind-swept wildfire in rural Northern California tore through a neighborhood and destroyed about 100 homes and other buildings, fire officials said Saturday after at least two people were injured and thousands were forced to evacuate. The Mill Fire started shortly before 1pm Friday just north of Weed, a city...

Wildfire Wipes Out Scenic California Hamlet

At least 4 Klamath River residents died in devastating McKinney Fire

(Newser) - The scenic Northern California hamlet of Klamath River was home to about 200 people, a community center where they gathered, a corner store, and a post office. But the wildfire raging through the forested region near the Oregon state line jumped the river last weekend, killing four residents of the...

Thousands Ordered Out of Homes as Fire Nears Yosemite
Crews Can't
Fire Near


Crews Can't Contain Fire Near Yosemite

Blaze burns out of control in high heat, low humidity

(Newser) - Update: The wildfire raging near Yosemite National Park, which has become one of California's biggest of the year, remains out of control. And officials said the forecast for Sunday is not encouraging, the AP reports. "Today the weather is expected to remain hot with minimum humidity between 5...

California's Biggest Landowner Closes Forests to Public

Sierra Pacific Industries cites wildfire risk

(Newser) - Sierra Pacific Industries, the largest private landowner in America, says its forest lands in California will be closed to the public starting Friday. The company, which owns 2.33 million acres of land in California, Oregon, and Washington, normally allows the public to use land that isn't being actively...

Man Who Started Fire That Killed Condors Gets 24 Years

2020 California fire nearly killed 14 firefighters

(Newser) - A man who started a 2020 wildfire that killed 12 endangered California condors and seriously injured a firefighter has been sentenced to 24 years in state prison. Ivan Gomez, 31, was sentenced Wednesday by a Monterey County judge for setting the Big Sur Dolan fire while illegally growing marijuana in...

Wildfire Shuts PCH at Big Sur
Big Sur Fire Shuts Highway 1

Big Sur Fire Shuts Highway 1

Winds up to 70mph are expected in Southern California, as well

(Newser) - A wind-driven wildfire broke out late Friday in the rugged mountains above Big Sur, forcing residents to evacuate their homes and authorities to shut down a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. The fire started in a canyon and was pushed by 35mph winds to the sea, jumping the highway and...

California Wildfires Ruined a Winery's Grapes. It Had a Plan

Napa Valley's Pine Ridge Vineyards is now producing vodka made from the smoke-tainted fruit

(Newser) - When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When it hands you ruined grapes, make ... vodka? That's what Napa Valley's Pine Ridge Vineyards opted to do when its grape crops were sullied by smoke from last year's California wildfires, thanks in part to a partnership with an Almeda...

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