A five-month KQED investigation of what happened the first night of the fires found systemic problems with California’s emergency response procedures.
Wildfires, long considered a problem exclusive to the West, now threaten many other parts of the country as extreme weather becomes more commonplace and more people live in areas at risk for wildfire.
After a century of helping visitors enjoy the wonders of the natural world, the guardians of America’s most treasured places have been handed an almost unimaginable new job – slowing the all-out assault climate change is waging against national parks across the nation.
The lethal Valley Fire that destroyed nearly 2,000 buildings and killed at least four people in 2015 was started by faulty wiring at a home outside the community of Cobb, California, an investigation found.
At first, last December’s rains seemed like welcome relief for drought-stricken California. But while the moisture did little to hydrate trees and shrubs, it did lead to the widespread of growth of wild grasses, which dried out quickly and contributed to this year’s wildfire season.