California

 
 

Thousands flee as wildfire ‘beast’ grows to California’…

VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire powered by fierce winds grew into the third-largest in state history on Saturday as forced evacuations turned neighborhoods into ghost towns and ash fell in some areas like heavy snow. High winds and dry conditions were expected to remain through the weekend to power the so-called Thomas Fire in Southern California. It has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 more since erupting on Dec. 4, including homes in the wealthy enclave of Montecito just outside the coastal city of SantaRead More


Residents flee as California wildfire nears Santa Barba…

Strong winds drove one of the biggest wildfires in California’s history toward Santa Barbara and the nearby wealthy enclave of Montecito Saturday, prompting residents to flee as authorities issued new evacuation orders.  The 404-square-mile Thomas Fire was moving rapidly westward and crested Montecito Peak, just north of Montecito. Known for its star power, the enclave boasts the mansions of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and many other celebrities. “It is right above the homes,” fire spokesman Jude Olivas told the Associated Press.  Mandatory evacuations around Montecito and neighboring Summerland came asRead More


Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third-largest o…

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third-largest on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly blaze since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in Southern California coastal communities since erupting on Dec. 4, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. The cause of the blaze is not yet known. Authorities described the current conditions, includingRead More


Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third largest o…

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. Authorities described the current conditions as “critical fire weather,” including returning windsRead More


California ‘weed fortress’ had 35,000 marijuana plants …

Kathleen Joyce Stephanie Smith, 43, owned three properties that grew thousands of marijuana plants, police said.  (San Bernardino Police Department) Southern California police seized 35,000 marijuana plants from a weed “fortress” and shut down an operation they believed was bringing in millions of dollars a month. San Bernardino Police said they detained eight people Wednesday when police and federal agents raided a warehouse that was converted into a multi-level grow house. They said the once-abandoned warehouse was recently outfitted with a 12-foot fence, “fortified doors” and surveillance cameras. Investigators alsoRead More


California wildfire rages as third largest recorded in …

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire’s growth. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. It has cost $97 million to fight the 259,000-acre (104,813-hectare) blaze, with thousands of firefighters contending withRead More


Thomas Fire in California continues to grow, threaten t…

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The fourth-largest wildfire in California history continues to grow and threaten thousands of homes despite armies of fire crews and fleets of bulldozers and aircraft. Although Santa Ana winds eased on Friday amid the blaze northwest of Los Angeles, they are expected to return with a vengeance over the weekend. And the fire is so large that winds on one end may be gustier than those on the other side. The 11-day-old Thomas Fire surging through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties had devoured some 400 squareRead More


California wildfire close to becoming third largest eve…

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California wildfire was close on Saturday to becoming the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire’s growth. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. It has cost $97 million to fight the 256,000-acre (103,600-hectare) blaze, with thousands of firefightersRead More


California activists applaud new cell phone safety advi…

SACRAMENTO — California’s new cell-phone safety guidelines issued this week for adults and children are being welcomed by the public health, environmental and First Amendment advocates who successfully sued the state to release guidelines that had been languishing since 2009. In fact, the lawsuit’s lead plaintiff Joel Moskowitz said the new advisory goes “well beyond what any federal health agency has published on this issue.’’ But Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, remains frustrated that the three-page document doesn’tRead More


Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California bla…

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –  One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across Southern California has died, but authorities gave no hint of how. San Diego-based Cory Iverson was assigned to the blaze northwest of Los Angeles, which has become the fourth largest in California history. Iverson, 32, was an engineer with a state fire engine strike team. He died Thursday. Dozens of police and fire vehicles escorted a hearse carrying Iverson’s flag-draped body to the county medical examiner’s office in Ventura. Iverson had been with theRead More