The ignition of the so-called Ranch Fire is a testament to the extreme fragility and volatility of the American West, fire experts say. California in particular is such a tinderbox that something as seemingly innocuous as hammering a stake into the ground can unleash an uncontrollable inferno.
PG&E said this year it would significantly expand the practice of shutting off power to communities at risk of wildfire when conditions demand it, despite objections from some consumer advocates who said such disruptions can harm vulnerable people such as those who need electricity for medical equipment.
The house owner Andrea Gaylord fled when the November 8 fire broke out. An animal rescuer who responded to Gaylord's request to check on Madison first spotted the male Anatolian shepherd mix several days later.
Remains of 79 victims have been recovered since the Camp Fire erupted on Nov. 8 and largely obliterated the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, a community of nearly 27,000 people about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco.
Thousands more mountain residents were evacuated from the path of California’s biggest wildfire on Friday as fatigued firefighters battled gusting winds driving one of the state’s worst fire seasons in a decade.