When Christian conspiracy theorist David Meade predicted that the world will end on October 15, many people laughed at him. After all, this wasn’t the first time that Meade had “cried wolf”. Earlier this year, he stated that life as we know it would be over on September 23.
However, despite his considerably ludicrous claims, the people of Northern California are starting to believe that Meade may be on to something as ash has started to fall from the sky like rain, leaving a ghostly orange cloud over the ‘Sunshine State’.
Currently, there are 15 wildfires raging across Northern California. The furious blazes are consuming everything in their path, which so far includes an estimated 2,000 buildings and the lives of 17 people.
Most of the fires began on Sunday after dry conditions and extreme winds worked together to ignite the firestorm. By Tuesday, 20,000 people had been ordered to evacuate the area as firefighters worked tirelessly to extinguish the flames, and others were ordered to pack a bag so that they’d be ready to leave at a very short notice.
The extreme fires, which are already being called “one of the worst disasters in California history,” are currently challenging hundreds of firefighters as they try to save what they can. So far the wildfires have claimed 122,000 acres of land across the north of the state.
The largest fires have already devastated the counties of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino, turning the idyllic wine valleys into charred fields.
Included in the death toll is 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his 98-year-old wife, Sara, who perished inside their home in Napa as the flames engulfed the property. Since Sunday, 17 people have lost their lives, but over 100 more are being treated in various hospitals for fire-related injuries, such as burns and smoke inhalation. In addition to that, more than 180 people are currently missing.
Thousands of homes have also been claimed by the wildfires. With the biggest blaze, the Tubbs fire, destroying 571 homes alone.
The Curzon’s house is one of those razed to the ground. The family were awoken in the early hours of Monday morning to the smell of smoke, assuming it was just a neighbor’s barbecue or chimney they went back to sleep. But a few hours later they were awoken again by their whimpering dog, Brady.
Upon looking outside Mr Curzon witnessed a frightening sight as the flames creeped closer. Initially he thought a bomb had been dropped, or some form of attack has occurred. “It looked like we were at war,” Curzon said. “The sky was orange and there were embers falling from the sky.”
The famous Hilton Hotel in Santa Rosa has also been destroyed by the wildfires. The 250-room building was no match for the savage flames as they tore it to the ground, as well as the Kmart that stood on the opposite side of the road.
The horrifying scenes are reminiscent of the Oakland Hills wildfires which turned Northern California into an inferno in October 1991. Over 2,900 buildings and 25 lives were lost during the firestorm and the economic loss was valued at $1.5 billion.
Currently all efforts are being made to contain the wildfires as they advance menacingly to claim more of the picturesque north Californian hills. Meanwhile, more tragic scenes such as this are surfacing online:
Our thoughts are with those affected by the fires, especially the families of those who have lost loved ones.