CA Fires’ Trail of Destruction

The fires burning across Northern California are now considered among the deadliest in state history. They have scorched more than 200,000 acres, destroyed or damaged more than 5,500 homes, displaced 100,000 people and killed at least 41 people.

The LA Times reports that the Tubbs fire now ranks third on the state’s list of deadliest fires, claiming at least 22 lives. The Redwood fire, responsible for eight deaths, ranks 10th on the list.

The Nuns fire claimed its first victim Monday morning when a contract driver delivering water to firefighters overturned his vehicle and died, according to Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol officials.

In Sonoma County, authorities located 1,743 of the 1,863 people reported missing during the fires, but at least 88 people reported missing are still unaccounted for. The 17 people reported missing in Mendocino County have all been located, but at least 17 people are still missing in Napa County.

Forecasters estimate a 65% to 70% chance of rain on Thursday night, said Drew Peterson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. Peterson predicts that temperatures — which were unseasonably high when the blazes broke out last week — will cool nearly 20 degrees over the course of the week.

Nearly 4,500 firefighters were still battling the Tubbs, Pocket, Nuns and Oakmont fires Monday, Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said. About 2,900 firefighters were working on the Atlas fire in Napa County.

About 40,000 people remained under evacuation orders as of Monday morning, but many of those had been lifted by the end of the day. Authorities warned that cleanup efforts in the hardest-hit areas might delay homecomings for other evacuees.