Aaron Parmlet, a sheriff’s deputy in Butte County, Calif., thought he was done for. The flames from the northern California wildfire were on all sides of him when his police car broke down. And he still hadn’t found nurses he was sent to rescue.
It was time to record his life’s last moments in Paradise, Calif., which was burning to the ground. So, he turned on his body camera, the video of which was released Thursday.
Eventually, he found the four nurses, but there was no way out.
Until someone on a bulldozer showed up.
Eighty-five people are confirmed dead in the fire; almost 300 are still missing.
The fire is out now but there’s no rest for the first responders. They’ve spent the last 24 hours evacuating people, many of whom had just returned to the area. This time the problem is water — flash floods.
This is the new normal in California thanks to climate change. And the wildfires are worsening the situation.
The Camp Fire — that’s the one in Paradise — released as much greenhouse gas as all of California’s cars and trucks produce in a week, the San Francisco Chronicle reports today. All the wildfires last year equaled 9 percent of all the greenhouse gasses generated by human activity.
And with the forests destroyed, so has some of the state’s ability to absorb greenhouses gasses and stabilize the temperature.
Related: Climate Change Insurance: Buy Land Somewhere Else (New York Times)
Why can’t conservatives admit they’re wrong about climate change? (Washington Post)
Eau Claire brewer among those helping national effort with flood-relief beer (Eau Claire Leader Telegram)