Deadly Southern California Wildfires Destroy Mobile Homes, Force 100,000 to Flee
A man in his late 50s died of a heart attack Friday while talking with firefighters as the Saddleridge Fire raged in the Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley foothills. And two people died when the Sandalwood Fire burned through a mobile home park in Calimesa.
Both blazes ignited Thursday, CNN reported. Here is a breakdown of their impacts.
The Saddleridge Fire forced 100,000 people to flee their homes in Los Angeles. and closed several freeways, according to Reuters. It also led to poor air quality over northern Los Angeles, prompting dozens of public schools in the San Fernando Valley to close.
Frightening image of #SaddleridgeFire consuming I-5 overnight 📸 @abc7chriscristi https://t.co/iJ85pNg4rm— Rob Marciano (@Rob Marciano)1570790559.0
The man who died was one who chose to ignore the evacuation order and attempt to fight the fire himself.
U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) was one of the evacuees who heeded the order.
"I left a bit earlier than most because I was watching the news and the moment they posted on the internet that I was in the mandatory evacuation area, I was out," Sherman told Reuters.
The fire grew to 7,500 acres Friday, but is now 42 percent contained and all evacuation orders have been lifted, according to the latest update from the Los Angeles Fire Department. Forty structures have been damaged or destroyed.
#SaddleRidgefire; 10/13/19 PM Update; 7965 acres 42% contained. 40 structures destroyed or damaged. All evacuations… https://t.co/9wcYjeZnAT— LAFD (@LAFD)1571019611.0
The Sandalwood Fire ignited when a garbage truck dumped burning trash that spread onto vegetation, Reuters reported. It burned 76 homes in Calimesa in Riverside County.
Among those homes were dozens at a mobile park, where the fire's two victims died.
The Los Angeles Times shared the fate of one of them:
Family members of Lois Arvickson confirmed the 89-year-old died in the fire. Don Turner, Arvickson's son, and his wife, Kimberly, spent Thursday night at an evacuation center, desperate to hear news of his mother, who lived alone at the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park. She was on the phone with her son when the blaze, dubbed the Sandalwood fire, reached the park.
Kimberly Turner said neighbors reported seeing Arvickson get in her car to leave, but they don't know what happened next. The Turners saw TV news coverage that showed Arvickson's home destroyed by fire and the car still in the driveway.
The second victim, whose remains were found in the park, has not yet been identified, NBC Los Angeles reported.
That fire is now 86 percent contained, according to the most recent update from The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
#SandalwoodFire off Calimesa Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive in Riverside County is 1011 acres and 86% contained. Un… https://t.co/rJ0i56jkvS— CAL FIRE (@CAL FIRE)1571018768.0
A third fire, the Reche Fire, also ignited Thursday but is now 100 percent contained, NBC Los Angeles reported.
The fires were fanned by the Santa Ana winds, NBC Los Angeles explained, which blow through Southern California in the fall and have been linked to wildfires in the region. Fall is one of the most dangerous seasons in California for wildfires: seven of its 10 most destructive occurred in October.
In Northern and Central California, utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) responded to similarly dry, windy conditions last week by shutting off power to 800,000 customers in an attempt to prevent a fire. As of Sunday, the utility said all power had been restored.
#PSPS Update: All Customers Impacted by Safety Shutoffs Have Now Been Restored. https://t.co/uwCkbmbusD https://t.co/tXV7rp9K8g— PG&E (@PG&E)1570931237.0
By Brett Wilkins
One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales ... ›
- Endangered Blue Whales Make 'Unprecedented' Comeback to ... ›
- Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Spotted Off Coast ... ›
- Only 366 Endangered Right Whales Are Alive: New NOAA Report ... ›
By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.
Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.
- Guardian/Vice Poll Finds Most 2020 Voters Favor Climate Action ... ›
- Climate Change Seen as Top Threat in Global Survey - EcoWatch ›
- The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation ... ›
By Tara Lohan
Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on common milkweed on Poplar Island in Maryland. Photo: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program, (CC BY-NC 2.0)