In The News

Californians and Their Animals Flood Zuma Beach to Escape Wildfires


by Tim Pearce

Californians living near Malibu began evacuating their animals to Zuma Beach Friday as the Woolsey Fire threatened thousands of homes and other structures, the Los Angeles Times reports.

People filled the beach with horses, alpacas, dogs and other animals to sit and wait until they could return home. The beach, though safer than other areas, was covered in smoke carried by strong winds that fueled the fire’s rapid expanse. The Woolsey Fire consumed 83,000 acres from Thursday to Sunday.

The Woolsey Fire has killed at least two people and forced roughly 250,000 others to evacuate their homes. The fire was 10 percent contained by Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California fire officials expect conditions to worsen as winds pick up again Sunday. Santa Ana winds are expected to blow between 30 and 50 miles per hour later Sunday and continue through Tuesday, according to AccuWeather.

“The fires in Southern California could spread from east to west toward the coast, potentially impacting areas from Oxnard to Malibu,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said. “No wet weather is expected across California through the week.”

Two other large fires, the Camp Fire burning north of Sacramento and the Hill Fire burning near Los Angeles, have burned an additional 110,000 acres. The Camp Fire has killed at least 23 people who lived in or near Paradise. The fire swept through the town Friday morning, catching many by surprise. The Camp Fire has destroyed nearly 6,500 buildings, CBS News reports.

Democratic California acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Friday for Los Angeles and Ventura counties because of the destruction and threat to life from the Hill and Woolsey fires. Newsom also requested federal aid from FEMA.

President Donald Trump addressed the California fires in an early Saturday morning tweet, blaming “poor” forest management for the fires’ severity. Trump threatened to restrict federal funding to the state if its “gross mismanagement of the forests” is not fixed.

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