Aerial aftermath of deadly wildfire in Butte County

18 November, 2018, 08:58 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • California authorities collect DNA to identify fire victims

In his defense, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said evacuation orders were issued through 5,227 emails, 25,643 phone calls and 5,445 texts, in addition to social media and the use of loudspeakers.

The wildfire this time practically burned the town of Paradise to the ground and heavily damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow on November 8, destroying 9,700 houses and 144 apartment buildings, authorities said. The so-called Camp Fire has become the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

Honea said the number of names on the missing list soared after investigators added information from callers who rang the dispatch center on the day the fire erupted and reported people who were missing in the chaos. Jerry Brown and Gov. -elect Gavin Newsom.

At least two other people have been killed in another, separate wildfire in Southern California, putting the state's death toll at 65 since the two blazes began last week.

No official cause for the fire has been identified; the blaze is now 50 percent contained.

"I don't think it's appropriate for any of us to sit and speculate about what the future holds", he said.

Thousands of additional structures remain threatened as firefighters, many from distant states, try to contain and suppress the flames.

Mr Honea said the original total was a partial count, and that after authorities went back through all emergency calls and other reports of missing people from the past week, they came up with the new number.

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"It's not good policy to have utilities unable to finance the services and infrastructure the state of California needs", California Public Utilities Commission's Michael Picker said. President @realDonaldTrump stood w/ @JerryBrownGov, @GavinNewsom, and Mayor Jody Jones to say we are with you and working together to help. Authorities have tentatively identified 58 of those people.

The federal government, for what it's worth, manages much more of California's land than the state itself; according to the Redding Record Searchlight, the Camp Fire "started either on or very close to the national forest before spreading to private property to the west".

Kurth also said another "red flag" warning was scheduled to go into effect in the Paradise area late Saturday and early Sunday, with the possibility of "gusts up to 45 miles per hour". Survivors of the blaze that almost obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise and nearby communities spoke of having just minutes to escape and narrow roads made impassable by flames and traffic jams.

But some survivors resent that Trump took to Twitter two days after the disaster to blame the wildfires on forest mismanagement and threaten to withhold federal payments from California. He urged people to look at the list of those unaccounted for posted online and let authorities know if they are safe.

Kurth said it's possible the rain could bring some ash runoff in the areas affected by the Camp Fire, but it's far too soon to know if serious flows of mud and debris are possible.

It's already the largest and deadliest fire in California history.

Long said it would take years for residents of Paradise to rebuild, if they choose to do so. It was 45 per cent contained and posed no immediate threat to populated areas.

On Thursday, firefighters reported progress in battling the almost 220-square-mile blaze that displaced 52,000 people and destroyed more than 9,500 homes.

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