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FEATURING MELEIZA FIGUEROA – The death toll from Northern California’s “Camp Fire” has jumped to 48 as search and rescue crews find more bodies. The fire itself has also continued to grow and has so far consumed 8,800 structures. The size of the record-breaking blaze is about 130,000 acres – that’s larger than the city of Atlanta. In Southern California the Woolsey and Hill Fires continue to burn as well but are 40% and 90% contained respectively.

Meanwhile just a few minutes before the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fires began, utilities companies in both areas reported problems with electricity lines. They are now a focus of investigation.

The damage to the environment, to wildlife, to homes, and to the lives of ordinary people is hard to quantify. And worse, this could become the new normal, or as some have put it, the new “abnormal,” in California, as fire season becomes a year-round phenomenon.

Meleiza Figueroa, PhD Candidate in Geography at UC Berkeley and was the Press Director for the Stein/Baraka 2016 Presidential campaign, and Executive Producer of the Green News Network. She has been a longtime political educator and organizer, involved in a wide range of movements for social and environmental justice in California and is a correspondent for Rising Up With Sonali.

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