Mudslides Carry Away Homes, Water Rescues Needed in California Storm

Motorists swam for their lives and residents were rescued from homes sliding downhill as the wettest winter storm of the year triggered floods and mudslides across California on Thursday.

In Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, a mudslide carried away two homes and engulfed five cars, sending one woman to the hospital, Southern Marin Fire Department tweeted. Dozens of homes were evacuated in the area.

Heaviest Storm of the Season to Hit Fire-Scarred Southern California

(TNS) — The strongest and potentially wettest storm of the winter season is bearing down on Southern California this week, threatening to unleash debris flows in burn areas in Orange and Riverside counties as the region’s wild winter continues.

The atmospheric river-fueled storm, packed with subtropical moisture, will take aim at large swaths of the already-soaked state beginning early Wednesday and lasting through Thursday.

Firefighters Endangered During California Blaze, New Report Shows

Poor communication, short staffing and infighting among agencies may have endangered firefighters who nearly died during the massive Mendocino Complex of wildfires in Northern California, according to a new report released.

The Los Angeles Times reported that staff from three fire agencies examined an Aug. 19 incident where Los Angeles and state firefighters were trying to keep the three-week-old blaze from charging through wilderness and reaching homes.

Boeing Sued for Negligence in Southern California Wildfire

Boeing Co. was accused of negligence tied to a wildfire that tore through Malibu, California, in November and that purportedly started on the grounds of the nearby, disused Rocketdyne testing site.

A group of homeowners sued Boeing along with Edison International, the parent of the utility they say was at fault in igniting the fire, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. They claim Boeing failed to properly manage the vegetation on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and allowed the fire to spread to surrounding neighborhoods.

PG&E Contains California Gas Leak That Caused Major Explosion

PG&E Corp. has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, engulfing in flames a stretch known for its bars and restaurants.

The blaze, which had spread to at least five buildings as of Wednesday afternoon, triggered an evacuation order for people within a block of the site on Geary Boulevard — a major artery that leads into downtown San Francisco. Eight workers near the explosion were accounted for and no injuries were reported, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters.

PG&E Could Kill Lights to Customers When California Wildfires Occur

Anyone who gets power from PG&E Corp. could see their lights go out this fire season.

Even the millions of Californians who live outside risky areas could be left in the dark under a sweeping proposal the utility filed Wednesday. That’s because it wants regulators to approve the inclusion of more high-voltage lines in its power-shutoff plan for periods of elevated fire risk. PG&E filed for bankruptcy last week in the face of fire-damage claims that could exceed $30 billion.

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Paradise, Calif., Offering Services to Camp Fire Victims

(TNS)— With deadlines approaching for Camp Fire victims to get assistance, FEMA has opened a new disaster recovery center in Paradise to connect residents with emergency services.

The second phase of debris removal has begun, said Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Jovanna Garcia, and Paradise is beginning to fill with people again. Some businesses have reopened, some people whose houses survived the fire have moved back in, and people are coming through every day to return to their properties.

California Utility Equipment Sparked More Than 2,000 Fires in Over Three Years

(TNS) — Equipment owned by California's three largest utilities ignited more than 2,000 fires in three years — a timespan in which state regulators cited and fined the companies nine times for electrical safety violations.

How the state regulates utilities is under growing scrutiny following unprecedented wildfires suspected to have been caused by power line issues, blazes that have destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people.

What the Camp Fire Revealed

Natural disasters are equalizing forces. Fires torch the homes of the rich and the poor alike. Hurricanes destroy cruise ships as well as decade-old cars. Earthquakes level cities, affecting everyone within. But natural disasters are also polarizing forces. Income and wealth shape who gets hit; how much individuals, insurers, nonprofits, and governments are willing and able to help; and who recovers, as well as to what extent.

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