The death toll in the California wildfires has topped 31. With hundreds more people recorded as missing, the number of fatalities is expected to rise further.
The Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise in northern California, and the Woolsey Fire in suburban Los Angeles have destroyed more than 6,700 structures and could cost the state, insurers and homeowners at least $19 billion in damages, Bloomberg reports. This includes the upmarket areas of Malibu and Calabasas to the west of Los Angeles, much beloved by celebrities.
Singer Miley Cyrus tweeted that she lost her $2.5 million home in the fire:
Hollywood actor Gerard Butler’s $6.5 million home was also destroyed:
Real Housewife Camille Grammer shared the loss of her $6.6 million house on Instagram:
Music legend Cher tweeted about being nervous about fires approaching her home in Malibu:
President Donald Trump sent a series of tweets blaming the fires on forest mismanagement over the weekend, threatening to cut federal funding, which enraged firefighting organizations, politicians and celebrities. California Gov. Jerry Brown has formally asked Trump to release federal disaster funding in the wake of the inferno.
Asked to respond to Trump’s tweet, Brown called California’s battles with massive wildfires “the new abnormal,” Politico reports. “Scientists and the engineers and the firefighters all tell us forest management is one element’’ to control them, Brown said, but governments must address “a whole range of actions” to address a problem he said may cost billions of dollars to tackle.