One woman died after she was pulled from a flood channel Thursday morning, Feb. 14, by rescue crews in Corona, and at least 30 others were pulled from rushing waters in rivers, flood channels and inundated roads across Riverside County.
The slew of rescues began just after 5 a.m. when rescue crews with the Corona Fire Department pulled 7 people out of a flood channel in the Auburndale area of Corona. Within the next hour, crews with the Riverside County Fire Department pulled one person from the middle of Temecula Creek, while crews freed five others from their vehicles stuck on a flooded roadway in Menifee using boats. None were injured. Before noon, crews were called to a flood channel near McKinley Avenue and the 91 Freeway where two were stuck among storm waters.
Redlands Daily Facts
On that frantic morning, TK Huff was calm. The 71-year-old amputee sat in his wheelchair, pointing a garden hose at what quickly became the deadliest wildfire in California history.
Nobody knew at the time, early on Nov. 8, how bad it would be. When his family called at 7:15 a.m., Huff said he would leave. But he never made it out.
All around, fires were breaking out, and men and women — most of them elderly, many of them disabled — were doomed: Flames soon overtook 74-year-old Richard Brown's beloved log cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. On the edge of neighboring Paradise, a blaze prompted the Feather Canyon Retirement Community to evacuate its residents — all except 88-year-old Julian Binstock, overlooked in the chaos.
It was just the start of a day that was almost unfathomable.
KNTV-TV NBC 11 Bay Area
California should get insurance to help cover taxpayers' costs in bad wildfire seasons, a solution that could help stem losses as climate change contributes to more destructive blazes, two state officials said Thursday.
The most populous state should follow the lead of Oregon, the World Bank and the Federal Emergency Management Agency after outspending its emergency fund in seven of the last 10 years, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma said.
California spent nearly $950 million two years ago, about $450 million more than was budgeted and by far the highest annual amount. It spent about $677 million last year, as wildfires again swept through cities, suburbs and more rural areas.
California has experienced 11 of the top 20 most destructive fires in its history since 2007.
Santa Maria Times
A group of Central Coast firefighters is back from Mexico after a trip during the first week of February.
The men are celebrating 20 years of volunteer work training a fire department in Mexico.
“When we first went to Mexico 20 years ago, they didn't have trucks like this,” said retired CAL FIRE SLO Captain Mark Cameron, pointing to a firetruck filled with rescue equipment. “It's literally a rolling toolbox.”
A toolbox his counterparts in Obregon, Mexico did not always have.
“When we got down there, it's like holy smokes man, we take a lot of stuff granted in the United States,” Cameron said.
Cameron said the firefighters in Obregon lacked a number of life-saving tools and advanced rescue training, leading to deaths on the job.
KEYT-TV ABC 3 Santa Barbara
The ground on Sonoma Mountain has been saturated for months, with snow falling last week on its higher elevations for the first time in years.
But no amount of winter rains have dampened the fear of fire.
Residents of this potentially fire prone area are preparing for their worst nightmare by launching a fundraising campaign for a new fire engine to be housed at the Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority’s Station Four in the Diamond A neighborhood – and by taking first steps toward establishing two new California Fire Safe Councils.
A Type 6 fire engine, which is especially effective in fighting wildfires and can be driven off road, costs approximately $250,000. Diamond A residents have already raised $57,800 toward a goal of $125,000, with the Fire & Rescue Authority expected to match that amount.