Fires Continue In California As Death Toll Climbs, Utility Stocks Battered


Fires are still burning in California as fire crews fight to keep them contained. Titled as the deadliest wildfire in California history, the official death toll has risen to seventy-seven. The number of missing, however, has actually decreased; the count was once estimated to be nearly thirteen hundred people, but that number has now been amended to about a thousand.

The Camp Fire, located in Butte County, has been responsible for the majority of deaths so far with a tentative total of seventy-one. Destroying an entire town in Northern California, this has been the state’s deadliest fire in history. As of Sunday, the fire was listed as being sixty percent contained.

This fire has burned already over a hundred and fifty thousand acres and close to twelve thousand eight hundred structures. Fire crews and forest management officials believe the Camp Fire will be fully contained by November 30.

On the periphery of LA, the Woolsey Fire has burned more than a hundred and fifty square miles in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. nevertheless, it is reported to be a little over ninety percent contained. This fire has burned almost ninety-seven thousand acres and almost fifteen hundred structures. Crews and officials hope to have this fire fully contained over the next three days. These statistics are according to Sunday night’s number provided by CBS.

While the Camp Fire continued to rage, President Trump visited what’s left the once beautiful Paradise, California. Trump, saying the area was a total devastation, had earlier voiced his opinion that forest mismanagement was to blame for the fires.

The President approved some federal assistance by had also said that there would be “no more Fed payments” until the state’s forests were better managed. However, Monday he approved a request for federal assistance to be available to those whose homes or places of work were hit by one of the two fires. Trump claims he wanted to help alleviate some of the “incredible suffering” and that he was with them all the way.

Trump expressed shock at seeing the scale of devastation left behind and even praised emergency workers and their efforts. He offered more words of a conciliatory nature than he had previously when accusing state forestry officials of mismanagement.

The President, upon looking over the remains of Paradise, said no one would have thought that could happen. In addition, he was quoted as having said that “this was a really…bad one”, saying he hoped it was the last one.

Another result of the fires in California is the massive drop in utility stocks PG&E ($PGC) as well as a significant drop for Edison International. PG&E’s stock dropped another seventeen percent last Monday after having just dropped by sixteen percent the Friday before.

The utility company’s stock saw its worst recession in sixteen years. Another utility serving some of the communities affected by the state’s wildfires, Edison Internation, also had a drop in stocks at twelve percent.

It’s been determined that PG&E will lose as much as twenty billion in damages due to the declines in stock, while Edison will lose an estimated five billion.