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Best of Industry 2017

Posted 283 days ago ago by jhadmin

While the Southeastern U.S. was being inundated with record hurricane floodwaters during the fall of 2017, record-breaking wildfires were torching California’s Wine Country.

More than one million acres burned this year in California. The “October Fire Siege” fanned by Diablo Winds in Northern California constituted the deadliest series of wildfires in the state’s history, killing 43 people. The infernos torched at least 8,900 structures and 245,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people. As many as 11,000 firefighters were battling 21 major blazes in an area nearly one-third the size of Rhode Island. Insured property damage totaled more than $3 billion, making them the costliest complex of wildfires in U.S. history.

“I’ve never seen the utter devastation and destruction I saw around Santa Rosa and Napa,” said Barry Lloyd, helicopter program manager for Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). “It was absolutely stunning.” This is coming from someone who has been a helicopter pilot for 52 years and fighting fire for 44 years. He flies one of Cal Fire’s 12 Type II Hueys.


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