As the deadly California wildfires continue to rage on, Queen Elizabeth II is reaching across the pond to give her emotional support
Queen Elizabeth is reaching across the pond to give her emotional support as the deadly wildfires in California continue to rage on.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Queen offered her compassion to those affected by the fires in the Golden State — which happens to be the birthplace of the newest member of her family, Meghan Markle.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims, and to all those who have lost their homes and livelihoods,” the statement continued. “I pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the US emergency services and the volunteers that have provided support.”
The Queen’s words come after the death toll from the horrific fires have risen to record numbers.
Burning through 146,000 acres of land in Northern California, the Camp Fire has been the most ruinous of them all since it started on Nov. 8. As of Friday evening, it was just 50 percent contained and had flatted 9,844 residences, 336 commercial and 2,076 other buildings, according to CalFire.
A total of 71 people have perished in the Camp Fire in Northern California. That’s more than doubled the number from the second-deadliest wildfire in state history — the 1933 Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles, according to the Mercury News. There are still 1,011 people missing.
On Thursday, photographer Josh Edelson captured heartbreaking images of a burned neighborhood in Paradise, a city in the northeastern Sacramento Valley that has been heavily affected by the Camp Fire. Aerial views of the neighborhood show the destruction from the flames, which left all the houses gutted with only its concrete foundation, blackened metal and charred remains.
The Camp Fire is one of three fires that broke out in California on Nov. 8. The Woolsey Fire, burning in Los Angeles’ Ventura County, has traveled through 98,362 acres as of Friday evening, CalFire reported. It is 82 percent contained and has leveled 836 buildings, and taken the lives of 3 people.
Luckily, the Hill Fire was 100 perfect contained as of Friday night, CalFire reported. It was also ignited in Ventura County and destroyed 4,531 acres near the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks — the site of the tragic mass shooting.
Officials have said that high winds, low humidity and dry vegetation have stoked the fires, causing them to quickly spread throughout the state — though President Trump appears to have a different opinion about that.
He has been outspoken about forest management since the fire broke out, telling Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview set to air on Fox News Sunday that while climate change “maybe contributes a bit,” the “big problem” has been neglect from forest officials failing to rake leaves.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” he previously said on Twitter. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests.”
The president also threatened to cut off federal payments to California, though later approved a federal disaster declaration. The federal government owns more than 60 percent of the land in the state, CBS News reported.
Trump will visit Northern California on Saturday. He’ll be joined by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom — both Democrats — who have said it’s time “to pull together for the people of California,” according to CBS News.