Deadly wildfires continue to burn in California

Deadly wildfires continue to burn in California

The ongoing Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the history of California.

"We certainly hope that the fatality count doesn't increase, but we know there is a strong potential for that" as emergency crews sift through rubble and debris to look for potential victims, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott told NPR's All Things Considered.

President Trump thanked first responders in a tweet on Monday, writing: "The California Fire Fighters, FEMA and First Responders are incredible and very courageous".

More than 300,000 people have been evacuated across California since the fires began.

The bulk of the destruction and loss of life occurred in and around the town of Paradise, where flames reduced most of the buildings to ash and rubble on Thursday night, just hours after the blaze erupted.

"This is an unprecedented event", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Monday night, according to Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. You risk your lives for us, and I'm so humbled by your bravery. I want to recover as many remains as we possibly can, as soon as we can.

Two people have been killed in those blazes and 370 structures destroyed.

Below are before and after images from Paradise showing the level of devastation the town has suffered. As of Monday night, almost half of the evacuation centers in Chico, Oroville and nearby towns were at capacity.

If there's any good news here, it's that the Peak Fire, which burned 186 acres, has been 100 percent contained according to California Fire officials. But it added that dry conditions and steep terrain will continue to pose a challenge. Some 52,000 residents have been forced to evacuate. Overall, 10 sets of remains were found in Paradise and three in neighboring Concow.

Expected high winds through Tuesday could only worsen the flames, authorities said, adding that the blaze isn't expected to be contained until November 30.

The satellite images above show the area ravaged by the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California over the last six days.

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Full information about evacuations and road closures is listed on the Cal Fire pages for the Camp fire and the Woolsey fire.

Crews have managed to carve containment lines around 30 percent of the Camp Fire perimeter, an area encompassing 117,000 acres of scorched, smoldering terrain.

'Sadly, with these winds, it's not over yet, ' Scott Jalbert, chief of Cal Fire's San Luis Obispo Unit, said Sunday morning. A National Weather Service meteorologist noted that rains weren't expected to come to the area until Thanksgiving next week.

Gaga thanked the firefighters who were working tirelessly to keep the fires at bay.

There are almost 3,600 fire personnel fighting the Woolsey fire.

"We're starting to get a handle on this fire", said Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department in an online briefing.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fires.

Elsewhere, the Woolsey Fire has killed two and brought the statewide total up to 44. The utilities had reported electrical-equipment malfunctions near the start of the blazes.

The California wildfires are still raging, and the situation has worsened considerably, with the death toll rising to 31 while more than 200 people are missing.

But the death toll is likely to climb further.

The official death toll in Northern California's Camp Fire climbed to 42 on Monday as coroner and recovery teams began surveying the damage in Paradise, a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills almost entirely devoured by the inferno last week.

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