Overall, 44 people have lost their lives in California’s wildfires. There are six infernos raging through the state; Woolsey and Hill fires, in Ventura County; Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses fires, in the Sequoia National Forest; and the Camp Fire, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Reportedly, hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes and 8,000 firefighters have been called to duty.
On Nov. 12, 2018, NBC reports there were 13 more bodies discovered in the northernmost fire in the state. Bringing the total deaths from The Camp Fire to 42, which makes it the deadliest in California to date.
The previous record occurred in 1933 in Los Angeles County where 29 people lost their lives.
The Camp Fire began on Thursday and in five days 113 thousand acres have been consumed. Cal Fire reports they have the blaze 20 percent contained.
According to Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, many of the deaths occurred in the small town of Paradise. Tragically, 80-90 percent of the homes in residential areas were destroyed in the wake of the inferno. On Sunday, Nov. 11, he stated 228 individuals, of those whose family or friends reported, are still missing.
Honea told NBC, he could not say how far along the search for survivors was. “I still believe we’re early in this. I believe there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Currently, there are 13 search and recovery teams assisting Cal Fire. Additional personnel and equipment have been requested including “two portable morgue units, cadaver dogs, and a rapid DNA analysis system,” according to NBC News. Honea is hoping for another 150 search and rescue workers.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Death toll in California wildfire rises to 42, marking worst in state history
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Kari Greer for US Department of Agriculture’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License