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California Fires Leave Dozens Dead, Communities In Ruins47:09
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Toting up the damage and lessons learned from the deadly, devastating California wildfires. 

A firefighter builds a containment line as he battles a wildfire Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, near Boulder Creek, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
A firefighter builds a containment line as he battles a wildfire Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, near Boulder Creek, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

It's embers now in Northern California.  Occasional flames.  And lots of cold ash in what remains in mile after mile of destroyed homes and dreams.  Fabled names – Sonoma, Napa – scarred and scourged by the most deadly wildfires in California history.  Thousands of homes and buildings down.  Forty-two dead.  Many escaped by the skin of their teeth, leaving everything behind.  This hour, On Point:  We are toting up the damage and the lessons learned in California’s latest terrible days of wildfire. --Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Erin Baldassari, reporter for The Mercery News and East Bay Times. (@e_baldi)

Scott Stevens, professor of fire science in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.

Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

From Tom's Reading List:

Mercury News: North Bay Fire Evacuees Scramble To Find Temporary Housing — "Like thousands of others whose homes and ways of life were upended by fires in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties earlier this month, the Robles family is unsure where to go next, managing each new obstacle one day at a time."

CNBC: Death Toll In California Wildfires Rises To 42 — "The death toll from the disaster grew to 42 after the remains of a man were found in a residence late Tuesday, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office confirmed Wednesday morning. As of Wednesday, 53 people remained missing in Sonoma County alone although there are also wildfires in Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Butte and several other Northern California counties."

Wall Street Journal: What Can We Do To Help California's Wine Country? — "The words 'wine country' usually evoke a verdant landscape of vineyards and rolling hills, not burned-out buildings and scorched earth. But that’s what parts of California look like right now. Napa and Sonoma have been under siege by fires these past two weeks. As winery owner Sam Coturri of Sonoma’s Winery Sixteen 600 put it, 'Wine country is being attacked by a faceless, malicious enemy.'"

This program aired on October 20, 2017.

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