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Death Toll Climbs to 75 with 1000 Still Missing in California Wildfires

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President Trump arrived in California to meet with Governor Jerry Brown, Governor Elect Gavin Newsom and other officials as they toured the devastation from the deadly Camp Fire that displaced thousands, killed 75 and left a 1000 missing.

"We will do everything in our power to support and protect our fellow citizens in harm's way, " the President said.

He also outlined the federal funds available in a three tiered disaster benefits program beginning with Major Disaster and Emergency declarations to provide support for California's response to these wildfires. The funding covers 75% of the costs incurred by the state from removing debris to providing transitional shelter. The Department of Health and Human Services has declared California wildfires a public heath emergency and provide greater leeway for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in meeting emergency health needs created by the wildfire.

Wal-Mart Refugee Camp

The President didn't make it to the Wal-Mart refugee camp. Wal-Mart officials have asked those displaced by the fire to leave the premises by today. The tent city is an eyesore and with Black Friday quickly approaching capitalism rules the day. Even as the majority of those expected to shop are now displaced.


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Although no official will explain who gave the order, the fear of unsanitary conditions, and an increasing population of more than the displaced Paradise residents, have left those reeling from near death experiences now suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, are left to feign for themselves.

Displaced Northern California fire victims are living in tents in a Wal-Mart parking lot, clothed by donations from those close and those one state away, as the gravity of the aftermath becomes reality. Unlike those in Southern California, the residents in Paradise had little time, before the fire, known as the Camp fire was at their door. Some had ten minutes, others less.

There was no time to arrange an evacuation of home and property. The fire, a fast moving killer, peaked over the mountains and with sprinter's speed bore down on the enclave below. Within minutes what was known was gone, reduced to ash. Many lost nearly every piece of verifiable identification. The years of laughter, memories held dearly, and even the days when life had been painful, consumed by a raging inferno. No one to blame, the anguish has yet to set in as survival mode became the rule of the day.

These folks, the Wal-Mart tent city of refugees, are the lesser known fire victims as the media is focused on the celebrities in sunny Malibu and Southern California who also lost homes, memories, treasures, who with minimal warning were told to evacuate. Some had more notice and safe was better than the alternative.

Others, and the list reads like a red carpet tip sheet of celebrities, who had time to prepare for the worst and are now homeless. Oddly, it doesn't sound as daunting, or injurious as the Camp Fire. One wants to feel empathy for all, and human suffering is human suffering.

Thousand Oaks

The shock of the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting, which claims a dozen victims, hadn't even had time to be analyzed, attached to the ever growing list, reflective of the Las Vegas shooting that many in attendance and more than one victim had survived, when the Woolsey Fire hit the community with an intensity that caused an immediate evacuation. Survivors were left to grieve and grab any memories of their loved ones before the fire chased them from their homes.

Shelters, Sickness, and Selflessness

If the fire weren't enough Northern California residents who fled to local shelters were faced with an outbreak of norovirus, which is highly contagious, with vicious vomiting and diarrhea. Roughing it at the local Wal-Mart parking lot seemed better.


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Make shift donation posts, local food banks, grillers pulled up and neighbors did what they could. Nevadans sent in truckloads of clothing, blankets and immediate need items. Elderly baked breakfast muffins in bulk. Until additional shelters and transitional housing can be provided neighbor helping neighbor in the time of need is the system.

Sacramento It's Time To Step Up

As more than 13,000 structures were lost in the Camp Fire, 10,000 single family homes and 213 multiple family homes, California officials just received federal monies to assist victims and provide transitional housing. The survivors of the worst fire in California's history managed for themselves now it's time for Sacramento to step up and attend to those who need.

 

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