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Extreme Weather

The Latest: California wildfire now largest in state history

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) – The Latest on Southern California’s big wildfire (all times local): 7:10 p.m. The huge wildfire that burned hundreds of homes in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties is now the largest in California’s recorded history. State fire officials said Friday that the Thomas fire has scorched 273,400 …

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Nearly $1 billion raised for rebuilding Texas after Harvey

By NOMAAN MERCHANTAssociated Press HOUSTON (AP) – The groups helping to rebuild on the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey have collected close to $1 billion in donations, according to an Associated Press tally of major national and local organizations. Much of that money is already being put to work …

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The Latest: House narrowly passes short-term spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Congress, spending and the threat of a government shutdown (all times local): 7:10 p.m. Congress has voted to prevent a government shutdown as the House and Senate in rapid succession approved a stopgap spending bill to keep agencies running through Jan. 19. The Senate’s …

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Insurance firms dispatch private firefighters in California

By CHRISTOPHER WEBERAssociated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – Among the army of firefighters protecting neighborhoods at the front lines of Southern California’s monstrous wildfire are small teams hired by insurance companies to provide personalized prevention and protection for homeowners. Firms including American International, Pure Insurance and Chubb Limited have provided …

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All significant California wildfire evacuation orders lifted

By AMANDA LEE MYERSAssociated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – All remaining significant evacuation orders for areas around the smoldering remnants of Southern California’s huge wildfire were canceled Thursday after a new round of winds caused little fire activity. The lifting of evacuation orders and warnings in Santa Barbara County left …

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Internal watchdog to probe FEMA contracts to tiny firm

By TAMI ABDOLLAHAssociated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog is investigating how a fledgling Florida company won more than $30 million in contracts for desperately needed disaster relief supplies in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Acting Inspector General John Kelly said in a letter addressed …

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California fire crews, homeowners brace for return of winds

By AMANDA LEE MYERSAssociated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – After a welcome lull in powerful winds that drove Southern California’s massive wildfire, crews and homeowners were bracing Wednesday for the return of potentially dangerous gusts that could revive the flames. Some residents are watching from afar at hotels and evacuation …

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Long-term wildfire evacuees face holidays away from home

By AMANDA LEE MYERSAssociated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ray and Curry Sawyer’s Christmas tree is up, still waiting for their grandkids to decorate it. The presents are hidden away in closets, waiting to be wrapped, the ingredients for gingerbread men are sitting in cupboards, and the kindling for the …

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House GOP unveils $81B disaster relief for hurricanes, fires

By ANDREW TAYLORAssociated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans on Monday unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid package to help hurricane-ravaged communities and states hit by wildfires, almost double the amount requested by President Donald Trump. GOP leaders promised a vote this week on the measure, which would bring the …

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