Searchers Worry That Oncoming Heavy Rains Could Wash Away Remains Of Camp Fire Victims
Authorities also fear bones could lie underwater, making it harder to spot them and whatever scent cadaver dogs rely on to spot human remains could be drowned out. Meanwhile, officials say that the rain is unlikely to be "toxic," as some residents have feared. They say most of the remaining smoke in the air probably emanates from vegetative matter such as smoldering tree trunks, which is much safer than pollution created by the burning of human-made materials.
Los Angeles Times:
California Fires: Heavy Rains Could Wash Away Human Remains In Paradise, Searchers Fear
Authorities also fear bones could also lie underwater, making it harder to spot them and whatever scent cadaver dogs rely on to spot human remains could be drown out. ... In a worst-case scenario, if torrential downpours were to hit Paradise, a town devastated by the fire, the foundations could flood and wash human remains away, increasing the possibility that workers may be unable to locate and identify victims of the fire. (Vives, 11/20)
Rapid DNA Analysis Used To Help ID Camp Fire Victims
Authorities are using a powerful tool in their effort to identify the scores of people killed by the wildfire that ripped through Northern California: rapid DNA testing that produces results in just two hours. The system can analyze DNA from bone fragments or other remains, then match it to genetic material provided by relatives of the missing. But the technology depends on people coming forward to give a DNA sample via a cheek swab, and so far, there are not nearly as many volunteers as authorities had hoped for. (Ronayne, 11/20)
No, The Coming Rain Won't Be 'Toxic.' But Here's What To Do When The Smoke Clears
Bay Area residents will soon breathe a healthy sigh of relief. Rain is forecast to start washing away the region's toxic air as early as tonight. The National Weather Service predicts rain and southerly gusts for the Bay area through Friday evening. Air quality experts are not predicting a toxic deluge, as some have suggested on social media. (McClurg, 11/20)
Heavy Rains Bring Flood Risk To Fire-Ravaged Landscape
A series of storms expected to arrive in California starting Tuesday night could bring heavy rains onto landscapes denuded by wildfires. Officials are warning that could mean flooding, mudslides, and more dangerous "debris flows," where the flowing mud picks up loose debris on the surface, like trees, boulders and remains of destroyed buildings. A storm forecast to arrive tonight and continue through Wednesday could bring several inches of rain to Butte County, where the deadly Camp Fire has scorched more than 150,000 acres. (Levi, 11/20)
Will Rain Bring Mudslides To Paradise, Malibu?
Now, less than two weeks later, state Cal Fire teams are knocking again on remaining doors in the remote Northern California canyons where the fire burned through, warning residents of a new and imminent danger: Powerful debris-filled flash floods, fed by heavy rains, may be racing down fire-scarred hillsides in coming days. (Bizjak, 11/21)
Capital Public Radio/KXJZ:
Can Short-Term Exposure To Wildfire Smoke Impact Long-Term Health? Experts Are Researching Answers.
Since the Camp wildfire tore through more than 150,000 acres in Northern California, the air quality in cities from Chico to Bakersfield has reached unhealthy and even hazardous levels. In Sacramento, some schools and businesses remain closed. And across the state, health officials are warning people to stay indoors and avoid outdoor physical activity. But will exposure to the smoke have long-term impacts on our health? (Caiola, 11/20)
Los Angeles Times:
California Fires: Anxiety And Nightmares Grip Evacuees In Paradise Fire Zone
Inside the cafeteria of Bidwell Junior High School, 63-year-old Deborah Laughlin sipped on coffee and scooped up some apple pie. A lot was on her mind. Laughlin said she lost her home in Paradise. She had been living at Evergreen Mobile Home Park. Since the evacuations, she has been at the middle school, where the Red Cross operates a shelter. She said she registered with FEMA and hopes she’ll be able to get housing. (Vives, 11/20)