Transient, not terrorist.
In the course of the past week, the Wine Country Wildfires have incinerated more than 200,000 acres, obliterated or damaged more than 5,500 homes, and displaced over 100,000 people. The current death tool stands at 41, including a private contractor who was bringing water to fight the blazes when his vehicle rolled over.
“He was helping to fight the fires and do the right thing,” said CHP Capt. Mike Palacio. “Unfortunately, at this point, we don’t know what happened.”
…“This has been the deadliest week that we’ve experienced here in California… from wildfires,” Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said Monday.
Sonoma County officials report that a suspect has been arrested for arson in connection to the area’s blazes.
The arson suspect is Jesus Fabian Gonzales, 29, Sgt. Spencer Crum, a spokesman for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office told CNBC. Crum described him as “a transient out of Sonoma” and said the suspect was “arrested for setting a small fire in a park in Sonoma on Sunday.”
Speaking at the Tuesday afternoon press conference, Giordano said the arson suspect was seen “walking away from a small fire” and stopped by deputies. Also, the suspect allegedly had “a fire extinguisher and a lighter with him,” said the sheriff.
Giordano said the suspect was asked whether he started the fire and responded that “he started the fire to warm himself up — something to that effect.”
This is at least good news for California’s largest electric utility company, which has seen its stock plummet over concerns it could be found liable for the fires that have ravaged Northern California.
Shares of California utility PG&E rose 7.51 percent Tuesday on word about a suspected arsonist arrested in Sonoma County.
..PG&E said in an SEC filing Friday it has “$800 million in liability insurance for potential losses that may result from these fires. If the amount of insurance is insufficient to cover the Utility’s liability or if insurance is otherwise unavailable PG&E Corporation’s and the Utility’s financial condition or results of operations could be materially affected.
The magnitude of the property loss is historic, and includes the loss of the iconic “Glass House” mansion.
A San Francisco Bay mansion with enormous glass walls set upon one of the Bay Area’s highest privately owned peaks has burned to the ground in the recent wildfires.
The home nicknamed the ‘Glass House’ at 1700 Twin Sisters Road in Fairfield, which is close to the border of Solano and Napa counties, was destroyed by the flames last week.
…The hexagon-shaped building which cost $17million to construct, complete with helicopter pad and 50-foot-long swimming pool, was one of many well-known landmarks that was reduced to ashes in fires that have blackened more than 182,000 acres and destroyed more than 5,700 structures.
— Jodi Hernandez (@JodiHernandezTV) October 13, 2017
Currently, 22 wineries in the heart of California wine country have been damaged or destroyed as well.
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