In California, the state’s insurance commissioner says the unprecedented wildfires have caused over $1 billion in insured losses. The wildfires are the deadliest since record keeping began, killing at least 42 people, destroying thousands of homes and businesses, and scorching more than 200,000 acres—roughly the size of New York City. As of Thursday, more than 20,000 people are still displaced in Sonoma County.
Cal Fire is investigating the cause of the fires. Residents in Santa Rosa have sued the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, claiming the company’s failure to maintain its power lines sparked the blazes. The night the fires began, there were multiple reports of downed power lines and exploding electrical transformers.
Meanwhile, the Sonoma County sheriff has refuted false claims being spread by far-right-wing news outlets, including Breitbart News, that an undocumented man arrested for arson on Sunday may have sparked the blazes. Sheriff Rob Giordano said, “There’s a story out there he’s the arsonist for these fires. That is not the case. There is no indication he is related to these fires at all.” We’ll have more on the deadly wildfires after headlines.