California fires: ‘It’s terrifying’ says Springfield native living in Malibu

CALIFORNIA — The wildfires in California continue to burn everything in their paths, and the death toll is rising past 40 victims.

There are hundreds more reported missing in northern California as the search for survivors and victims continue.

Springfield native and current Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Poston is not only reporting on these wildfires, he’s also affected by them personally.

He lives in western Malibu. His complex sustained a lot of fire and water damage.

Now he says there’s another worry: Looters.

“What they were doing was going into units that had already been broken down by firefighters,” said Poston.

“It’s weird. [It’s the] first time covering a natural disaster where I’m personally affected,” he said. “It’s terrifying. Absolutely terrifying.”

Today, News Center 7 spoke with a firefighter in the Los Angeles area whose career spans 30 years.
Capt. Tom Haus of the Los Angeles Fire Department was asked to make an educated guess on how long the fires will burn.

“Probably about two to three weeks to have 100 percent containment,” he said.

However, recovery will take years.

The Camp Fire is the deadliest — and most destructive — in California’s history.

In southern California, it’s the Woolsey Fire.

Some people haven’t been heard from since flames tore through their town on Thursday.

“We’re going to bring in the human remains detective dogs — cadaver dogs,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.

President Trump has already approved a major disaster declaration to help with the recovery effort.

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