Monday’s Briefing: Camp Fire, 77 Dead, 993 Missing; Smoke to Clear Tuesday Night Due to Rain and Wind
Plus, PG&E officials had planned to turn off power before the big blaze but changed their minds.
Stories you shouldn’t miss for Nov. 19, 2018:
1. The death toll from the tragic Camp fire rose to 77 over the weekend, and there are still 993 people reported missing in the massive wildfire that obliterated the town of Paradise, the Sacramento Bee$ reports. California’s most destructive and deadly fire destroyed 15,000 structures total, including more than 11,700 homes, and tens of thousands of people are now homeless. Firefighters reported this morning that the 151,000-acre blaze is 66 percent contained.
2. The sickening smoke and poor air quality that has enveloped the Bay Area and much of Northern California since the Camp fire ignited on November 8 is expected to finally clear on Tuesday night because of an incoming rainstorm with strong winds, reports Ashley McBride of SF Gate reports. The storm is expected to drop 1-2 inches of rain on the region, and may extinguish what is left of the big wildfire.
3. PG&E officials were planning to cut power before the Camp fire ignited because of high winds and bone-dry conditions, but then changed their minds, the LA Times$ reports. Since the fire, the utility has reported that two of its power lines suffered problems just before the blaze broke out, reports Matthias Gafni of the Bay Area News Group$. Fire officials are investigating whether there were two origin points for the wildfire.
4. President Trump was mocked relentlessly on Twitter for his head-scratching remark while visiting the Paradise area on Saturday that California should copy Finland and start “raking” forest floors in order to reduce the risk of wildfires, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Trump claimed that the president of Finland told him that, but the Finnish president said he had no idea what Trump was talking about — and that Finland does not “rake” it forests.
5. ICYMI: East Bay Assemblymember Tony Thurmond won the state superintendent of public instruction contest, defeating charter school advocate Marshall Tuck. Thurmond declared victory on Saturday, and Tuck conceded the race.
6. ICYMI: Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has unseated GOP incumbent Catherine Baker in the East Bay's 16th Assembly District contest. Baker’s defeat means the Bay Area no longer has any Republican representatives in the state Legislature.
7. And Sunday, Nov. 18, was the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, in which an Oakland religious cult had moved to Jonestown, Guyana, and 900 people died in a murder-suicide.
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