Reading guide: The causes and impact of California's wildfires
November has become one of the most devastating months in history for California, with two major wildfires raging in the northern and southern parts of the state.
The big picture: It's worth a closer look at what the future holds in California and across the West, where a changing climate is leading to larger fires. Here's a roundup of our coverage and the best stories from other sources — including local media reports that can give us the best insight into possible causes, what it would take to reduce the risk, and how the disasters have affected people's lives.
What's going on
- Humans are a wildfire threat multiplier (Axios)
- Why it's so hard to issue a fire warning (Axios)
- Forest management is only one risk factor in the California wildfires (Axios)
- Americans Are Moving Closer to Nature, and to Fire Danger (NY Times)
- Air-fouling smoke continues across California; 2009 report warned of potential fire disaster (Wunderground)
- Floods ‘on steroids’ could bring new dangers to wildfire areas. Are Malibu, Paradise at risk? (Sacramento Bee)
- Fixing state’s fire problem: Costly, complex, next to impossible (SF Chronicle)
- California wildfires start in the woods. Why do cities keep burning? (Sacramento Bee)
- California fire burned more than 10,000 homes, but trees remained standing. Why? (LA Times)
The Camp Fire in Butte County is still under investigation, but a lawsuit points to PG&E infrastructure and equipment failures as the likely cause.
- PG&E sued by Camp Fire victims (SF Chronicle)
- Did Camp Fire have second start? PG&E filing points to other possible origin (SF Chronicle)
- Camp Fire damages could top $7 billion. Will PG&E get more protection? (Sacremento Bee)
The Woolsey Fire in Ventura County burned through Malibu and surrounding areas, though the cause is still unclear.
Scale of the fires
- Map shows risk of debris flows in Camp Fire burn area (Sacramento Bee)
- Dramatic NASA images show destruction of California fires from space (LA Times)
- Woolsey Fire burn scar (NASA)
- 2018 California fire tracker (SF Chronicle)
Californians through the fires
- Californians usually rebuild after fires. That could change. (Axios)
- These are the victims of the California wildfires (LA Times)
- Camp Fire evacuees remain at Walmart tent city. We ask one family, why? (Sacramento Bee)
- In California wildfires, disabled people may be left behind (Curbed)
- Her father ran back into the house during the Camp fire. Then she watched it burn to the ground. (LA Times)
- California fires: Heading to a Malibu home they said they knew had burned down (LA Times)
- As Inmates, They Fight California’s Fires. As Ex-Convicts, Their Firefighting Prospects Wilt. (NY Times)
- Trapped in the Fire Zone (Slate)