On November 8, an almost unimaginable firestorm broke out in Northern California. Fed by dry vegetation, and fanned by northeasterly winds pouring off the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it rapidly descended on the community of Paradise, home to nearly 30,000 people.
Scott McLean, deputy chief of Cal Fire, was among the rescuers, driving through town and frantically trying to get people out. “I just left the hospital, heading up into the mess again,” he told WIRED Friday evening. “And out of the smoke comes this little old lady with a little puppy in a wheelchair just scooting down the road. These people didn't have ways to get out. So I picked her up, put her in my truck, and took her back to the hospital.”
Geography Professor Tom Cova has been interviewed by multiple outlets on what can be done to improve wildfire evacuations and save lives.