Wildfire which incinerated Paradise is now the joint deadliest in state history leaving 29 dead

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Wildfire which incinerated Paradise is now the joint deadliest in state history leaving 29 dead and 228 missing as 8,000 firefighters battle the infernos statewide which have killed 31 in total.

Authorities have reported six additional deaths in a Northern California, raising the death toll to 29 and making it the deadliest wildfire on record in California history.

Butte County Sheriff Cory Honea said the human remains recovered on Sunday included five bodies found at homes and one in a vehicle in Paradise.

Honea said the devastation was so complete in some neighborhoods that ‘it’s very difficult to determine whether or not there may be human remains there’.

‘In some cases, the only remains we are able to recover are bones or bone fragments,’ Honea said.

He also announced that 228 people remain unaccounted for since the fire began Thursday and incinerated the foothill town.

The statewide total of deaths from wildfires reached 31.

One of the fire’s victims was an ailing woman whose body was found in bed in a burned-out house in Concow, near Paradise.

Ellen Walker, who was in her early 70s, was home alone when the fire struck on Thursday, according to Nancy Breeding, a family friend.

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Authorities have reported six additional deaths in a Northern California , raising the death toll to 29 and making it the deadliest wildfire on record in California history

 

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This photo shows the Woolsey Fire over the Malibu hills. It was taken by Adam Fanton who shared it on Instagram with the caption: ‘It’s so heartbreaking to watch this wildfire spread through our beautiful California towns

 

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The 29 deaths matched the deadliest single fire on record, a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, though a series of wildfires in Northern California wine country last fall killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes

 

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The 29 deaths matched the deadliest single fire on record, a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, though a series of wildfires in Northern California wine country last fall killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes

 

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The map above shows the three major fires currently alight burning in California, two in the south and one in the north

The 29 deaths matched the deadliest single fire on record, a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, though a series of wildfires in Northern California wine country last fall killed 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes.

‘This weighs heavy on all of us,’ Honea said. ‘Myself and especially those staff members who are out there doing what is important work but certainly difficult work.’

Ten search and recovery teams are working in Paradise – a town of 27,000 that was largely incinerated on Thursday – and in surrounding communities.

Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history.

By early afternoon, one of the two black hearses stationed in Paradise had picked up another set of remains.

People looking for friends or relatives called evacuation centers, hospitals, police and the coroner’s office.

Officials and relatives held out hope that many of those unaccounted for were safe and simply had no cellphones or other ways to contact loved ones. The sheriff’s office in the stricken northern county set up a missing-persons call center to help connect people.

Gov Jerry Brown asked President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster to bolster the emergency response and help residents recover.

Trump has blamed ‘poor’ forest management for the fires. Brown told a press briefing that federal and state governments must do more forest management but said that’s not the source of the problem.

‘Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change,’ Brown said. ‘And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years.’

Brown’s request for a major-disaster declaration from Trump would make victims eligible for crisis counseling, housing and unemployment help, and legal aid.

Strong Santa Ana winds returned to Southern California on Sunday, causing flare-ups of a huge wildfire that has scorched a string of communities west of Los Angeles, but no additional structures were believed to have been lost, authorities said.

Source :  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6378931/Wildfire-incinerated-Paradise-joint-deadliest-state-history-leaving-29-dead.html