By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
The forecast is rain in northern and central California on Wednesday, with southern California joining the soggy mess Wednesday Nigh and on Thanksgiving. With rain in the forecast, and the stripped ground in the wildfire areas no longer having living vegetation holding the ground in place, California could be looking at a great threat of flash floods. Residents have been stacking sandbags in places like the hills over Malibu in preparation for the rains, recognizing that along with the water from the flooding there may be debris loosened or burned and unprotected after the fires. The rains will also hamper search efforts as teams continue to search for persons missing since the fires.
The known death toll from the recent firestorms currently stands at 81, with about 870 people still unaccounted for.
In Paradise, the northern California town that the Camp Fire literally burned off the map, officials state that with the rains coming to wash away any evidence, it is possible that many of the remains of the missing may never be found.
While the coming rains will help in extinguishing much of the flames and embers that remain, hopes of identifying remains of people may wash away, while transforming many areas into nothing more than a thick, gray paste of wet ash. Prior to the rain, the Camp Fire remains 75 percent contained.