Blog note: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11). Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. This verse from Luke is one of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.
‘Raining hell down’: death toll rises to 25 in California fires, as more victims found
Remains of 14 people discovered in and around community of Paradise in north of state; two bodies found in Malibu
Gabrielle Canon in Los Angeles and Dani Anguianoin Paradise, California. Sat 10 Nov 2018 23.13 EST. The Guardian.
The charred remains of fourteen more victims have been found in and around the northern California town of Paradise, and two bodies were also discovered in Malibu, officials said on Saturday, raising the death toll to 25.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott Maclean said there were no details immediately available about the circumstances of the deaths at Paradise, a mountain community some 90 miles (145 km) north of Sacramento left devastated by the Camp Fire. He said the bodies were badly burned, which would make identification difficult.
Authorities are bringing in a mobile DNA lab to help with identification and are encouraging relatives to donate. The Camp Fire burned down more than 6,700 homes and businesses in Paradise, more structures than any other California wildfire on record. It grew to 105,000 acres on Saturday with 20% containment.
Winds were expected to dramatically increase, which could create the extreme fire conditions that caused the blaze to initially spread so rapidly. The Butte county sheriff, Kory Honea, said 110 people were listed as missing and he urged residents to be vigilant and heed evacuation warnings and orders. “I don’t like having to get up here every night to tell you about more bodies we found,” he said.
In southern California, two bodies were found severely burned inside a car on a long residential driveway in Malibu, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Chief John Benedict said. The home is on a winding stretch of Mulholland Highway with steep panoramic views, where on Saturday the roadway was littered with rocks, a few large boulders and fallen power lines, some of them still on fire.
The Woolsey fire burning in the area was 0% contained, officials said, but added that the dry Santa Ana winds that spread the flames across 83,000 acres over the previous two days had slowed, giving firefighters a better chance of making progress on perimeter control. At least 177 homes and other structures had been destroyed, officials said.
“We had a tough night in relation to this firefight,” the Los Angeles county fire chief, Daryl Osby, told reporters gathered in Thousand Oaks, explaining that more homes were lost to the flames before morning. No official count was available, but he said there had been significant loss and that damage assessment teams would work throughout the day.
“From our perspective,” he said, “although we did lose a lot of homes, we saved thousands.”
Calling the fire conditions the most extreme and toughest he had seen, Osby said 900 firefighters battled the blaze through the night and that all local resources were deployed. Back-up from Arizona was on the way, he said, and they would soon ask for more help from state and federal agencies. The Ventura county fire chief, Mark Lorenzen, echoed Osby, saying the agencies “made heroic efforts in saving lives and saving property”. “We know Mother Nature has given us some reprieve today,” he said, “but I need everyone to remain vigilant.”
Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration to ensure federal funds were available, but he also rebuked the state. Tweeting, the president wrote: “There was no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.” He also threatened to withhold funds, due to “gross mismanagement of the forests”.
After criticism from figures including Hollywood celebrities and California Professional Firefighters president Brian Rice, who called Trump’s remarks “shameful” and “dangerously wrong”, the president was more conciliatory. “Our hearts are with those fighting the fires,” he wrote, also mentioning evacuees “and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”
More than 200,000 people have had to flee their homes since Thursday. Flames from the Woolsey fire, the worse of two fires in southern California, forced evacuations from Malibu to West Hills and into parts of Thousand Oaks, still reeling from the deaths of 12 people in a shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill the day before the fire.
Woolsey has been more destructive than most fires in the area.
“It is changing constantly,” Buschow said, explaining that though winds had died down, dry conditions were fueling the blaze. “Hopefully they will make some progress today but the bad news is that by tomorrow that weather is supposed to be back with the big winds. My understanding is we are going to be at red flag conditions through Tuesday.” In northern California, around the town of Paradise, the fire began at Camp Creek Road on Thursday. Authorities are investigating whether Pacific Gas and Electric power lines may have caused the flames. Eric Reibold, the town police chief, lost his home. “I know for a fact it’s gone,” he said on Saturday. “We are going to go through this together. I’m going to be living it right along with everyone. Nobody is left untouched.” Some residents said they were not notified of the fire and struggled to evacuate. No one notification system is perfect, Honea said, and this fire is the worst-case scenario.
“It was the event we have feared for a long time,” he said.