Wildfires in California remain only about 30 percent contained, despite a massive effort by fire crews to stop the blaze. According to a report from Reuters, the “Camp Fire” — as it is being called — has thus far destroyed 125,000 acres, leveled a town, and has claimed 42 lives. 7,600 buildings, including thousands of homes, are believed to have been destroyed as well, and more than 200 people are still unaccounted for. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) told reporters that this is the most destructive and deadly wildfire in California history.
#WoolseyFire [update] at E St and Alfa Road Rd, south of Simi Valley (Ventura County) is now 91,572 acres and 20% contained. Unified Command: @VCFD_PIO, @LACoFDPIO, LA City Fire,@lacountysheriff, and @LAPDHQ https://t.co/Uixyavgxu0 pic.twitter.com/qB9P8ANDoq
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) November 12, 2018
“Thirty percent is kind of where we’re getting close to rounding the corner. When we’re the 30s and 40s, they’re getting a good handle on it,” said Erica Bain, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire while speaking to Reuters. “By the end of this week I’d like to see that number up to 40, maybe 45.”
While the news may seem bleak, emergency crews on scene are hoping that improving weather conditions will aid them in getting more of the inferno under control. Additional units will begin arriving on scene throughout the week, including urban search and rescue personnel, cadaver K9 units, and a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT). Currently, close to 10,000 firefighters are working to extinguish the fire.
— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) November 13, 2018
As the Camp Fire continues to rage, another fire in Southern California has also caused extensive destruction. Reuters reports that this fire, called the “Woolsey Fire,” is currently centered near Malibu, and has already claimed two lives and hundreds of homes, including the homes of several celebrities including Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Gerard Butler, and Neil Young, according to a report from Fox News. Several of the stars took to social media to share photos of the destruction.
It’s been a heartbreaking few days. This is what’s left of my house. Love. Many people in Malibu and surrounding areas in California have lost their homes also and my heart goes out to everyone who was affected by these fires.
— Liam Hemsworth (@LiamHemsworth) November 13, 2018
Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at https://t.co/ei7c7F7cZx. pic.twitter.com/AcBcLtKmDU
— Gerard Butler (@GerardButler) November 11, 2018
Investigators are still working to identify the cause of the fires, although USA Today reports that experts agree that weather conditions were ideal for an inferno. The state has seen an unusually hot summer and fall; precipitation in the state has been below average. Still, the report also stated humans accounted for around 84 percent of the wildfires in the country.
As with any natural disaster, the stock market has responded to the news of the fire. The stock prices of several insurance companies were down slightly on Tuesday afternoon. At the time of this writing, State Farm is down by 1.38%, Allstate is down close to half of a percent, and Universal Insurance Holding is down by 1.24 percent, according to a Yahoo! Finance. This decline is similar to the downtick that insurance companies felt in the aftermath of hurricanes Florence and Michael. Stocks of Lowes and Home Depot posted small gains on Tuesday, just as they did during hurricane season as well.