California wildfires torch record 2m acres as new blazes force evacuations

Wildfires have burned a record 2m acres of California, with fresh conflagrations prompting dramatic rescue missions and shrouding much of the US west in smoke that has caused some of the worst air quality in the world. The area burned this year is now larger than the state of Delaware, surpassing the annual state record of 1.96m acres that went up in flames throughout 2018, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection, or Cal Fire. California’s governor, …

‘Several Boats’ Sink at Trump Boat Parade in Central Texas Lake, Sheriff’s Office Says

Several boats sank Saturday during a Trump boat parade on Lake Travis in central Texas, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. “Our agency responded to multiple calls of boats in distress throughout the parade and several boats did sink,” a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office told TIME. She added that a first call of a boat in distress came in at 12:15 p.m. and the latest one was responded to just before 2 p.m. A spokesperson with the Austin-Travis …

California wildfires: Trump declares major disaster as state braces for worsening conditions

Donald Trump has issued a major disaster declaration as deteriorating weather conditions threaten to spark new wildfires in California, where firefighters have been battling some of the largest wildfires on record for the past week. Trump’s declaration will release federal assistance for the state, with governor Gavin Newsom saying it declaration will also help people in counties affected by the fires with crisis counselling, housing and other social services.   California is bracing for dry lightning and gusty winds that …

‘We are struggling’: California under strain as fires burn area the size of Rhode Island – live

6.45pm EDT 18:45 Officials in Sonoma county, which has been badly damaged by this week’s fires, have reported that the federal wireless emergency alert service it uses is “no longer functioning”. The local Press Democrat reported that Chris Godley, the county’s emergency management director, told the board this alert service hasn’t been working as it is intended, including sending alerts to much wider areas than officials were targeting. It is supposed to send updates to phones in a specific area. …