Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Paradise lost: Grim search under way in incinerated California town

Donald Trump Modal Trigger Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 13 November, 2018, 12:01

As the fires continued to rage at both ends of the Golden State the death toll around the incinerated northern town of Paradise rose to 29, with two more dead near Malibu in the south.

According to Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea, who spoke to NBC, some 200 people remain unaccounted for following the Camp fire.

About 150,000 people statewide were under evacuation orders, majority in Southern California, where almost 180 structures were destroyed, including a large mobile home community in rugged Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu.

Meanwhile, the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles killed two people and forced more than 275,000 people to leave their homes, bringing the total death toll in the state to 31. Ten of the bodies were found in the town of Paradise while four were discovered in the Concow area, both in Butte County.

Mr Honea said the number of people listed as missing in the disaster remained officially at 228, but added that his office had received more than 1,500 requests for "welfare checks" from people concerned about the fate of their loved ones.

Authorities called in a DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify what, in some cases, were only bones or bone fragments.

The winds, coupled with very low humidity and a parched, drought-stricken landscape, have turned the Camp Fire into the deadliest in California since 1933.

Some of the thousands of people forced from their homes were allowed to return, and authorities reopened USA 101, a major freeway through the fire zone in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The homes of Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, Robin Thicke and Gerard Butler are among those scorched in the Woolsey blaze.

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The death toll stood at two, a pair of adults found last week in a auto overtaken by flames a couple miles from Rasmussen's house.

The cause of the northern California fire is still under investigation.

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Osby emphasized that about 57,000 homes have been saved from the so-called Woolsey fire, which burned a path about 20 miles (32 kilometers) long and 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) wide - from northwest of Los Angeles through suburbs and the Santa Monica Mountains to the Malibu coast.

The Scottish actor posted a startling picture to Twitter of just the steel frame of his house stil standing, after having been evacuated from the area at the weekend.

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters, called Trump's statement "ill-timed" given the loss of life and ongoing search for missing people. Jerry Brown said Sunday. The singer said on Instagram that he, his girlfriend and his two kids are "safe and surrounded by friends and family" and were thankful to firefighters.

Miley Cyrus just revealed that she and fiancé Liam Hemsworth have lost their Malibu home to the wildfires.

Gusty winds expected to keep fanning firesPhoto A man at an emergency shelter attempts to reconnect those displaced by the Camp Fire in Chico, California.

SoCal Edison's report says, "at this point we have no indication from fire agency personnel that SCE utility facilities may have been involved in the start of the fire".

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