Northern California Wildfires Thread

[Content Note: Fire; displacement; death.]

Twenty-one wildfires continue to burn across northern California, leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk as the fires are, according to a spokesperson for Sonoma County, "a long way from being contained."

More than 400 people remain missing. Twenty-six people have been confirmed dead. Over 3,000 buildings and 190,000 acres have been destroyed. Countless people remain displaced from their homes, or the places where their homes used to be.

The winds and drought, both exacerbated by climate change, conspired to make these wildfires extremely devastating. And even as they continue to wreak destruction, efforts are underway to find, recover, and identify bodies of those lost.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Kristine Phillips, Joel Achenbach, and Herman Wong at the Washington Post report:
As the destruction entered its fifth day, officials focused their efforts on finding the missing and the dead: While authorities go from house to house, looking for hundreds of people who remain unaccounted for, cadaver dogs are also sniffing through the scorched rubble.

Twenty-six people have died, more than half of them in Sonoma County alone. Collectively, the infernos that have erupted across the region since Sunday are the state's deadliest wildfires since World War II, surpassing the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire that left 25 dead.

"We've found bodies that were almost completely intact; we've found bodies that are nothing more than ashes and bones," Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said at a news conference Thursday.

..."I'm sorry to have to tell you that, but that is what we're faced here, as far as identifying people and recovering people," Giordano said. "We will do everything in our power to locate all the missing people. I promise you we will handle the remains with care and get them to their loved ones."
I am so desperately sad for the people tasked with this work, and the survivors on whose behalf they're doing it.

I am angry that, while this is happening, the president can't be bothered to even tweet about it, no less consider that maybe he shouldn't be trying to sign away people's access to healthcare.

I still wish I had something better to say to people in the affected areas beyond offering my profound sympathies. This is going to be absolutely devastating for a lot of people — and animals — and I am so very sorry.

As ever, please feel welcome and encouraged to share information, ideas, and resources in comments, and let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.

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