Drone footage shows the extent of destruction caused by California wildfires
California is currently being ravaged by the worst wildfires in its history. There is a statewide death count of 80 and around 1,000 people are currently missing. The most devastating of the blazes was caused by an unattended campfire, Butte County Sheriff's Office revealed. In addition to this, more than 12,000 structures (including homes) have been destroyed.
Thousands of people, including celebrities, have been displaced by the fires. Now horrifying aerial footage of the scale of the devastation has been revealed, showing many of the thousands of structures that have been destroyed.
To see the devastation for yourself and hear survivors' accounts, check out the video below:
Anna Dise, a resident of Butte Creek Canyon west of Paradise, told KRCR TV her father, Gordon Dise, 66, died after he went into their home to retrieve his belongings when it collapsed on him. The 25-year-old said that she had been waiting for him in their car with their dogs when it happened. When she tried to drive off after the collapse, her tires had already melted.
Unable to escape, she was left with no option but to seek shelter in a neighbor's pond with her dogs overnight.
"It was so fast," Dise said of the fire. "I didn't expect it to move so fast."
The smoke caused by the fire is now so thick that "it prevents the sunlight from reaching the surface", Hannah Chandler-Cooley, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told Bloomberg. "It prevents surface heating," she added.
According to the US National Weather Service, the smoke has also lowered surface temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
One family filmed their heart-stopping escape from the fire:
The situation was not helped by the speed at which the blazes spread and the fact that there were not enough law enforcement officers available to warn people in time.
"The fact that we have thousands and thousands of people in shelters would clearly indicate that we were able to notify a significant number of people," a sheriff said.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said that 5,227 emails, 25,643 phone calls, and 5,445 texts, in addition to social media and loudspeakers were used to alert as many people as possible.
Phil John, chairman of the Paradise Ridge Fire Safe Council, defended the plan that was in place, saying, "It didn't work perfectly. But no one could plan for a fire like that."
We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to everyone affected by the fires.