Three wildfires are ravaging the state of California, and the photos coming out of the scene are harrowing.
California is currently facing three massive blazes that cannot be contained. The largest, the Camp Fire, is raging across Butte County, while the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire are both burning up Ventura County. All three have caused mass evacuations and property damage, while the Camp Fire has claimed nine lives. In addition, 35 other people are missing.
This week, the flames completely destroyed the town of Paradise, California. Captain Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spoke to reporters from CBS News, revealing that, at a certain point, fire fighters had completely given up on saving the town.
"There was really no fire-fight involved," he said candidly. "Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed. It's that kind of devastation."
The Camp Fire has burned up 90,000 acres in total. It has also caused 52,000 evacuations, and so far first responders have contained it by about 5%. Meanwhile, the Woolsey fire has torched 35,000 acres and caused 200,000 evacuations. That one has not been contained at all, and it is in danger of growing.
The Hill Fire is the smallest of the three, but it has also burned up 4,500 acres. It has been 15 percent contained.
Fires have been an ongoing threat in California for about a year, but these latest blazes have brought them back into the headlines. On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump even addressed the disasters in a post on Twitter. He blamed the California state infrastructure, causing outrage across the country.
"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor," he declared. "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"
California Congressman Ted Lieu responded, correcting the president.
"Dear [Donald Trump] What is wrong with you? Disaster victims deserve help & sympathy," Lieu wrote. "Oh, and guess who owns much of the forest land in CA? Your federal agencies. CA only owns 2 percent. Guess who cut funding to forest management in the budget? YOU DID."
While tempers flare over the controversy, the fires continue to blaze in California. here are some of the harrowing pictures from the scene of the disasters.
In Ventura County, the combination of the Hill Fire and the Woolsey Fire left huge swaths of land a smoking mess. This picture shows the remains a mobile home park in Westlake Village, California.prevnext
Even the parts of California that have not been touched by fire yet are in ominous shape. Revellers on the Santa Monica State Beach has a huge cloud of smoke hanging over it, showing danger right on the horizon.prevnext
Firefighters continue to fight back fires even as the houses they are consuming tumble. According to a report by Flood The System, half of California's wildfire fire fighters are prisoners, who are paid $2 per day for their incredibly dangerous efforts.prevnext
The Camp Fire left roads in Paradise impassable after it was over, with the burnt husks of cars right where they had been left on the road. In addition, downed power lines are a huge problem across the state as people struggle to get utilities up and running again.prevnext
Entire communities were leveled by the fires. This picture shows a mobile home park in Paradise, where not a single livable structure was left.prevnext
This picture comes from the Woolsey Fire, where fire fighters must try their best to salvage any structure left standing when the smoke starts to clear.prevnext