Wildfires grew quickly overnight in southern California, forcing thousands of families to flee their homes.
Sesame Street is teaching children about addiction in a new educational series.
And a family was startled when a bear interrupted their hike. See the video below.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: Saddleridge Brush Fire Spreads Rapidly & Forces Evacuations
Thousands of people in southern California have been forced to evacuate their homes as a wildfire in the San Fernando Valley spread rapidly overnight. As of Friday morning, officials said the Saddleridge Brush Fire had burned more than 4,600 acres. The fire started in the northern Los Angeles area of Sylmar on Thursday.
Firefighters are struggling to get the wildfire under control as powerful winds continued to fuel the flames. It’s not yet clear how many buildings have been damaged, but the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed in an early morning update that a “number of homes have been destroyed.” The Saddlebridge Fire started as utility companies began to shut off power in southern portions of the state, but NBC News reported that the fire does not appear to have been sparked by utility lines.
A separate wildfire in Calimesa, called the Sandalwood Fire, has burned more than 500 acres and destroyed multiple homes at a mobile park on Thursday. Officials say that wildfire started after a garbage truck load caught fire and spread.
Meanwhile, in northern California, more than 300,000 customers are still in the dark. Pacific Gas & Electric preemptively shut off the electricity to avoid sparking wildfires amid dangerous winds, and have been slowly restoring power. Access real-time restoration maps here.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: ‘Sesame Street’ Tackles Addiction
The children’s muppet show Sesame Street is known for addressing challenging topics in ways that are relatable to its young audience. The show is now tackling the issue of addiction through its newest character named Karli, who made her debut on Sesame Street in May.
Karli was introduced as the first character in foster care. Now, in a new series of online-only videos from “Sesame Street in Communities,” the Sesame Street writers are revealing that Karli was put into foster care because her mother had a “problem” and was in recovery. Elmo’s father, Louie, explains in one of the videos that Karli’s mom had a “disease called addiction” and that she was working to get better.
Another video, “It’s Not Your Fault,” addressed the guilt that young children may feel. Karli explains to Elmo that her mother used to tell her that sometimes “things happen that little monsters can’t control or fix and that those things aren’t their fault.” Karli added that her mother had told her that she loved Karli no matter what. Elmo adorably responded that he loved Karli, and her toy elephant, no matter what as well.
In another video, Karli explains that her mother goes to meetings with other people who are experiencing the same issue, in order to learn to “take better care of herself” and be healthy. Karli adds that she goes to a “special kids-only meeting” with others whose parents have the same problem as her mother.
The research organization “Child Trends” has found that the number of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse has been on the rise over the past decade. In 2017, it was listed as a reason in 1 in 3 cases.
OFF-BEAT: Bear Seen On Camera Walking Up to a Group of Hikers
A group of hikers in Washington state is getting credit for not panicking when a bear approached them as they were hiking in Mount Rainier National Park. One witness began recording as the bear walked up to a teenager, who stood still as the animal sniffed at his feet for a few seconds. The bear then simply strolled away.
The teen’s older sister, Jasmine Bartley explained to KOMO-TV that no one noticed the bear until it was within a few feet. She said they didn’t have any food and it was unclear why the bear was attracted to the group.
Captain Jeff Wickersham of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife told the TV station that he had never seen a bear act like that before. He praised the teen for not trying to run, as that likely would have caused the bear to give chase. Bartley says she’ll carry bear spray on the next hike.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- Dangerous blizzard conditions are blanketing the northern Plains.
- Counter-terrorism police are investigating after five people were stabbed at a shopping mall in Manchester, England.
- More than 70,000 people have fled their homes as Turkey assaults U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
- John Furner was named as the new CEO of the U.S. division of Walmart.
- Kevin Hart says he has “nothing but love” for friend Jared Black after investigators ruled that Black was driving recklessly during last month’s crash that left the comedian with severe back injuries.
CHECK THIS OUT
Simone Biles has continued her global domination in the sport of gymnastics by winning her fifth all-around title at the world championships on Thursday. Biles secured the gold medal by a large margin, 2.1 points, over the second-place finisher, Tang Xijing of China.
As pointed out by ESPN, Biles’ broke her own record with the win. No other woman has ever won the all-around title more than three times. She now has 22 world medals and is expected to add to that collection at the 2020 Olympic Games.
The video embedded above includes all four of Biles’ routines at the world championships.
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