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Latest: California fire victim was animal enthusiast


The Latest on wildfires in the U.S. West (all times local):

2 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California woman killed in one of the state’s wildfires was known as an animal lover who would often rescue stray dogs and cats.

Authorities confirmed Friday that 77-year-old Millicent Catarancuic died near her home in Berry Creek, California. Catarancuic’s nephew, Zygy Roe-Zurz, said she loved animals and had four dogs and several cats at her five acre property in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco.

Zurs said Catarancuic was “sharp as a whip” and loved to play FreeCell, saying she could win the game in about 80 seconds.

Authorities say nine people have died in the North Complex fire in Northern California. Zurs said his mother, Susan Zurs, and his uncle, Phil Rubel, also lived at the property and are missing.

Holly Catarancuic, Millicent Catarancuic’s daughter, said her mom had lived in Berry Creek for about eight years. She said her mom had been very happy and the property was a “safe haven” for the family.

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1 p.m.

OREGON CITY, Ore. — A sheriff’s deputy in Oregon has been placed on leave after a video surfaced in which he suggested left-wing activists had been “causing hell” in setting wildfires — a claim that has been debunked by the FBI.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said he placed the deputy on leave after learning of the video, which recorded the deputy referring to “antifa” and saying that people’s lives and property were at stake because “these guys got some vendetta.”

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies in the Northwest say they have investigated such reports and found them false.

The deputy’s identity was not immediately released.

The sheriff said he would be on leave pending an investigation of making inappropriate comments and violating policy.

Authorities say having to debunk conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away from local fire and police agencies working to fight the fires and protect lives.

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12:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON – The White House announced Saturday that President Donald Trump will visit California on Monday to receive a briefing on the devastating wildfires that are burning throughout the West Coast.

More than 20 people have died in wind-whipped blazes in California, Oregon and Washington. In Oregon alone authorities have said more than 1,500 square miles (3,880 square kilometers) have burned during recent days, nearly double the size of a typical year and an area larger than Rhode Island.

The Democratic governors of all three states have said the destruction and speed of the blazes are unprecedented and they blamed climate change for making conditions worse.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called the blazes “climate fires” rather than wildfires.

“This is not an act of God,” Inslee said. “This has happened because we have changed the climate.”

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11:55 a.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Favorable weather conditions were helping more than 16,000 firefighters battling 28 major wildfires across California on Saturday. Containment increased on all the fires, with some quickly approaching full containment. Nonetheless, gusty winds in the forecast for the far northern part of the state on Sunday have prompted warnings …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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