Thousands of firefighters continue to battle California wildfires that have killed 24 people in less than a month

The beautiful American West is burning. Nearly five million acres have burned. Firefighters can't keep up. So what else can Americans do to help?

Posted: Sep 14, 2020 6:11 AM
Updated: Sep 14, 2020 6:11 AM

Firefighters in California have been battling multiple fires throughout the state for nearly a month as hot, dry weather has fueled flames and created tinderbox conditions in some areas.

More than 16,750 firefighters are battling 29 major wildfires across the state as of Sunday, according to CalFire.

Deadly fires have burned an astonishing 3.3 million acres in the state in 2020, creating smoky conditions and weather concerns that have resulted in partial power shutoffs for thousands of California residents in an effort to prevent additional fires.

Both Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have attributed the intensity of this seasons fires to climate change, pushing back on President Donald Trump's assertion that the fires were due to poor land management.

"It's been very clear that years of drought, as we're seeing, whether it's too much water and too much rain in parts of our country right now, or too little," Garcetti told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday. "This is climate change and this is an administration that's put its head in the sand."

Record breaking temperatures and a lack of rain have only exacerbated conditions in a state that has seen dozens of deaths.

More victims found in deadly fires

At least 35 people have died in the West Coast wildfires, including 24 in California, 10 in Oregon and a child in Washington state.

The most deadly blaze has been the North Complex Fire, accounting for more than half of the victims in California.

On Sunday, CalFire Butte County officials announced two additional deaths in the blaze for a total of 14 fatalities.

The North Complex Fire has burned at least 261,488 acres in Plumas and Butte counties.

It is currently 26% contained after entering Butte County "with a vengeance," a little less than a week ago, according to CalFire. The blaze was "driven by extreme winds, heavy dry fuels and steep terrain," CalFire said.

"The fire remains very active and now more than ever we need to remain vigilant," the agency said in an incident update Sunday night.

"Firefighters across the State responded to 36 new wildfires yesterday, and all were contained quickly," said the update.

Weather conditions could worsen fires

Weather conditions are not scheduled to improve any time soon as high winds of up to 40 mph are forecast in the coming days in parts of the state.

Fire weather watches have been issued throughout the region and, while rain may hit the coastlines of Oregon and Washington where wildfires continue to rage, California is forecast to remain dry.

"A Fire Weather Watch is in effect Monday over the Northern Sierra, potentially impacting the North Complex with gusty winds," CalFire said in an update Sunday.

A Red Flag Warning was also in effect in Northeastern California through Sunday night due to gusty winds and low humidity.

"With the changes in weather conditions, we may see the return of critical fire next week," said the CalFire update.

Smoke choking the state

Along with the fires comes smoke, which has blanketed the coast turning skies an eerie red color in some parts of the state.

The air quality forecast for Monday shows unhealthy to hazardous conditions in interior northern California, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service's Sacramento office.

In southern California, smoke conditions range from moderate to unhealthy, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said in a tweet.

Further north, air quality also remains an issue in both Oregon and Washington, as mountain ranges and low cloud ceilings keep smoke in the area longer.

Pacific Northwest also dealing with deadly fires

Several fires continue to burn throughout the Pacific Northwest, killing ten in Oregon and one in Washington.

A child died in the Cold Springs Fire near Omak, Washington, officials said.

"My heart breaks for the family of the child who perished in the Cold Springs fire," Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said in a statement on her social media accounts Friday. "I am devastated. The DNR family is devastated. The pain that family is going through is unfathomable."

Franz said she had been touring communities devastated by fires but had hoped no deaths had occurred.

"Many homes and buildings were lost throughout the state, but the relief I felt in this tragedy is that we hadn't lost any lives. That tragically and horrifically changed today" the commissioner said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 35°
Angola
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 36°
Decatur
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Van Wert
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
Rain Continues Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events