Photos: wildfires in California have been deadly and destructive

The day before the Camp Fire ignited near Chico, California, meteorologists were on edge. “I can’t recall seeing this much extreme on the Fire Danger Map,” tweeted Rob Elvington with KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding. After weeks of unprecedented dryness from heat, winds, low humidity, and lack of precipitation, it was clear California was a tinderbox.

Once the Camp Fire got going on Thursday (two utilities are now under investigation for their possible roles), it morphed into a monster fire in no time. It has since ripped through 113,000 acres and destroyed 6,400 residences, making it the most destructive wildfire California has ever seen. At least 29 people have died due to the flames, tying it with the 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, the single deadliest wildfire in state history. (More than 200 are still missing.)

The dry, windy conditions throughout California mean Southern California is also at very extreme risk for fires. On Thursday, the Woolsey Fire sparked in Ventura County and has since swept into Los Angeles County, torching a total of 91,500 acres and killing at least two. And as of Monday, another wildfire, the Peak Fire, had broken out east of Simi Valley.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has requested a “major disaster declaration” from the White House to assist the emergency response to the wildfires, which Brown says were definitely made worse by climate change. President Trump meanwhile has blamed the fires on California’s “gross mismanagement of the forests,” a claim Brown’s office called “inane and ill-informed.”

“[Wildfires] will be part of our future … things like this, and worse,’’ Brown said at a Sunday press conference. “That’s why it’s so important to take steps to help communities, to do prevention and adaptation.”

Local news reporters, residents, photojournalists, and scientists have been sharing images from the ground on what was left in the fires’ wake. There will be a lot of damage assessment, healing, and rebuilding to do after these tragedies. Here’s what the situation looks like on the ground.

Camp Fire

The Camp Fire burns in the hills on November 11, 2018, near Oroville, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A firefighter looks down as a the wall of a burning home in Paradise, California falls next to him on November 9, 2018.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A California Highway Patrol vehicle mans a checkpoint along Highway 32 as the Camp Fire burns in the area on November 9, 2018.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Cal Fire Captain Steve Millosovich carries a cage full of cats that were found in the road in Big Bend, California on November 9, 2018.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Yuba and Butte County sheriff deputies carry a body bag with a deceased victim of the Camp Fire on November 10, 2018, in Paradise, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Smoke lingers through the valley near Skyway in Chico, California on November 11, 2018.
Mason Trinca/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Power lines rest on cars that were burned by the Camp Fire on November 10, 2018 in Paradise, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Woolsey Fire

Embers falls from burning palms as flames close in on a house at the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018, in Malibu, California.
David McNew/Getty Images
A wildfire burns at the Salvation Army Camp on November 10, 2018 in Malibu, California.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
Firefighters battle a flare up of the Woolsey Fire in West Hills, California on November 11, 2018.
September Dawn Bottoms/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
A helicopter drops flame retardant chemicals on the wildfire on November 10, 2018, in Malibu, California.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
These are the remains of a beachside luxury home along the Pacific Coast Highway community of Point Dume in Malibu, California, on November 11, 2018.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
This photo taken on November 11, 2018, shows a charred cactus field in Malibu, California after the Woolsey Fire swept through it.
September Dawn Bottoms/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

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