Camp Fire: PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for negligence in California’s worst wildfire

“The California utility agreed to pay a nearly $2 billion fine for causing the blaze, which killed dozens and destroyed the town of Paradise.”

Pacific Gas and Electric pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2018 Camp fire

Pacific Gas and Electric pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2018 Camp fire, reports Los Angeles Times. The utility cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid further criminal penalties, "an outcome that disappointed some utility watchdogs."

From the article:

Last year, Pacific Gas & Electric admitted in federal court that its equipment probably caused several wildfires in Northern and Central California, even while it undertook the controversial step of conducting preventative power shutdowns during high-wind events in high-risk fire areas.

“We cannot change the devastation or ever forget the loss of life that occurred. All of us at PG&E deeply regret this tragedy and the company’s part in it,” PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson said in a statement. “We cannot replace all that the fire destroyed, but our hope is that this plea agreement, along with our rebuilding efforts, will help the community move forward from this tragic incident.”

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A drone's eye view of the thick wildfire smoke in San Francisco

My pal Shalaco (previously) shot this bleak video of the smoke in San Francisco using his drone.

He writes:

...A look at SF’s skyline. San Francisco’s Air Quality seems to be getting worse, current AQI is 239, purple, very unhealthy. The city skyline is obscured by smoke and Northern California’s air is rated worst in the world as a result of smoke from the Camp fire.

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Currently in SF... A look at SF’s skyline. San Francisco’s Air Quality seems to be getting worse, current AQI is 239, purple, very unhealthy. The city skyline is obscured by smoke and Northern California’s air is rated worst in the world as a result of smoke from the Camp fire. #california #californiafires #campfire🔥 #campfire

A post shared by San Francisco Photographer (@shalaco) on Nov 16, 2018 at 6:17pm PST

If you live in an affected area, wear an N-95 mask, no joke. Read the rest

California Fires: From space, NASA JPL maps damage from Woolsey and Camp blazes

The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created these Damage Proxy Maps (DPMs) that show the areas in California that were probably damaged by the Woolsey and Camp Fires. Read the rest

Video shot by survivors of the Camp Fire who escape for their lives shows just how terrifying this fire is

Hearing about Northern California's Camp Fire – or any fire for that matter – is scary enough. But seeing what it's like to escape for your life by driving right through a massive fire so that you can't see anything in front of you is absolutely terrifying. The fire spread so quickly – "80 football fields per minute," says The Guardian – that some people barely escaped, while others have died.

This video was taken by Brynn Parrott Chatfield, from the town of Paradise, which has been destroyed by the fire. The fire, which started Thursday morning around 6:30am, has burned over 20,000 acres so far, forcing "about 50,000 people to evacuate," according to The Guardian.

Via The Guardian:

As CNN points out, over 2,200 firefighters are currently battling the Camp Fire and they face a tough road ahead. The combination of dry conditions and high winds are making this a particularly difficult fire to fight.

Multiple fatalities have been reported but it’s not yet clear how many people might be dead. The exact number of injuries is also unknown and authorities still don’t know what caused the blaze.

Read the rest