Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Firefighters battle blazes on two fronts in California, 50 dead

Firefighters battle blazes on two fronts in California, 50 dead

GENERAL DONATIONS: Donations to fire victims can be also made through the Red Cross and the California Fire Foundation.

Thousands of firefighters battled blazes in northern and southern California on Tuesday as body recovery teams searched the remains of houses and charred cars for victims of the deadliest wildfire in the history of the USA state. "You could feel the heat coming in through the vehicle", she told CNN. "We're starting to get a handle on this fire", said Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department in an online briefing. I thought I was going to die.

Paradise resident Nichole Jolly said she thought her life was over when flames surrounded her auto, filling it with smoke.

But state fire investigators have not yet determined the utility's culpability in the Tubbs Fire, which killed 23 people and destroyed almost 5,600 structures in California wine country, where losses could top $10 billion. She said the list would be updated. The blaze destroyed an estimated 90 percent of residences and has taken 42 lives as of the official count on Monday. As of Tuesday, the inferno was 40% contained. That's an area larger than the cities of Chicago and Boston combined.

And if so, what does that mean for people who hope to return to Paradise and rebuild once the fires are out?

"There's certainly the unfortunate possibility that even after we search an area, once we get people back in there, it's possible that human remains can be found". Air tankers were preparing to drop retardant in the fire's path to impede its progress, officials said.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fires. They've been reported missing, but he does not know if they tried to escape or hesitated a few minutes too long before fleeing Paradise, where about 7,700 homes were destroyed.

"Everybody was like, 'OK, we're ready, ' " Lundy said.

A lack of rainfall beginning in 2012 led California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in 2014, The Sacramento Bee reported. They include 13 coroner search recovery teams, 150 search and rescue personnel, cadaver dogs, two portable temporary morgue units, and a rapid DNA system.

California Highway Patrol Chief Brent Newman asked for the public's patience as teams clear affected areas. If the fires aren't out by then, the firefighters could extend their stay, come home or switch out with other Madison County firefighters.

Honea added that his office had received requests to check on the wellbeing of more than 1,500 people who had not been heard from by loved ones.

At least 44 deaths have been reported so far from the late-season wildfires and with hundreds of people unaccounted for the toll is likely to rise, as thousands of tired firefighters waged a pitched battle against the deadliest infernos in California's history.

The evacuees included celebrities who lost their homes in Malibu as well as first responders who are still working despite losing their own homes.

Cal Fire investigator Stewart Morrow was assessing property losses in Paradise, comparing piles of scorched rubble where houses once stood with online photos of the structures before the fire.

Like this: