Northern California Wildfires Thread

[Content Note: Fire; displacement; death.]

Last Friday, I reported that there had been 31 confirmed deaths from the wildfires in California. By yesterday, that number had climbed to 41. Erin McCormick and Julia Carrie Wong at the Guardian report:
The fires have thus far burned over 213,000 acres and destroyed approximately 5,700 structures, according to the state fire agency. Forty people died in last week's flames, making it the deadliest week in California wildfire history. On Monday, another fatality was reported after a driver delivering water to the fire lines was killed when his truck overturned.

About 100 people remain unaccounted for in Sonoma County, where more than 1,700 were at one point listed as missing.

..."The biggest challenge for us is the sheer number of people who need help," said [Sonoma County's newly organized emergency assistance] center's director, Michael Gossman, who is usually an administrator with the county water agency but took on a new role to help with the relief efforts. About 500 fire victims had been served by the center by midday Sunday.

...In all, about one in every 20 homes in the city were wiped out over the past week, a crisis that will only exacerbate an already tight rental market. The city's rents grew 50% over the past five years, the fastest growth in the country, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Zillow data.

But recovery will probably be significantly more challenging for renters and low-income people, especially if they did not have insurance.

Diego Pacheco's family helped him apply for Section 8 housing vouchers and rental assistance, but Rios said that they had been informed it could take months for the applications to be processed. Relief workers also distributed a list of current apartment vacancies in Santa Rosa, but most were renting for $1,200 to $1,600 a month, well above the $700 rent Pacheco paid at the mobile home park.
The fires continue to burn, although a break in the weather, including the possibility of rain, will help with containment. There have been substantial losses, in lives and property, and there is vast and urgent need.

Since yesterday morning, Donald Trump tweeted 11 times, including one retweet. Four of those tweets were about how awesome the stock market is doing; three of those tweets were shit-talking Democrats; two of them were about his appearances; one was about Rep. Tom Marino withdrawing from consideration as Trump's drug czar; and one was about "Crooked Hillary." He did not tweet about the wildfires.

In fact, he has not tweeted about the wildfires at all. Not a single time.

A San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks: "California Burns: Where's the President?"
Trump has offered no more than a few perfunctory words about the Wine Country fires that have left at least 40 dead, consumed thousands of structures, and stretched the physical and mental mettle of the dedicated firefighters and medical professionals to the edge of exhaustion.

On [October 10], before welcoming the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, Trump said he had spoken with Gov. Jerry Brown and that the federal government would stand with the "people of California and be there with you in this time of terrible tragedy and need."

That's it? No talk of visiting California? No expressions of appreciation for the first responders? No condolences for those who lost their lives, or the many more who lost their homes? No recognition or pledges of federal support for the monumental task of rebuilding the neighborhoods and business that were devoured in the fire?

Then again, how much is a Trump pledge worth, anyway? His typically rapid-fire succession of tweets this week included some that seemed to blame Puerto Rico for its post-hurricane financial crisis and a warning that "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

This is a president who views tweets as his primary means of connecting with the people, without the media filter he loathes. Dare we suggest that forcing NFL players to stand for the national anthem — to name one of his recent obsessions — is not a life-and-death situation. The fires are.

And how many times has Trump tweeted about the fires since they were whipped by winds into life-threatening force early Monday: zero.
But he's had time to tweet this: "A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag. 'Stand for Anthem or sit for game!'"

And this: "With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have 'tanked,' in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!"

And this: "My great honor to host the 2017 back-to-back #StanleyCup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins at the WH with FLOTUS today!"

And this: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"

And this: "Joining @SeanHannity tonight at 9pmE on @FoxNews. Enjoy!"

And this: "Clips from tax speech and @seanhannity on @foxandfriends now. Have a great day!"

And this: "People are just now starting to find out how dishonest and disgusting (FakeNews) @NBCNews is. Viewers beware. May be worse than even @CNN!"

And this: "Such a wonderful statement from the great @LouDobbs. 'We take up what may be the most accomplished presidency in modern American history.'"

And this:

And ten heaping dumpsters of similar garbage. Because he is an utter disgrace to the office of the presidency and to this nation.

I am so sorry to the residents of California who are being let down by their president on top of what is already a complex and devastating crisis.

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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