Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Camp Fire death toll rises to 76, sheriff says

Drone footage of the destroyed town of Paradise in northern California Image Drone footage of the destroyed town of Paradise in northern California
Melinda Barton | 18 November, 2018, 07:45

The Camp Fire, the state's deadliest and most destructive blaze, has killed at least 63 people.

The high death toll blamed on the fire's staggering speed fueled by dried scrub and trees as it raced through Paradise, a town of 27,000.

A map of the Camp Fire provided by CAL FIRE can be found here.

What was left was a ghostly, smoky expanse of empty lots covered in ash and strewn with twisted wreckage and debris. At least 71 people are dead and 148,000 structures have been destroyed.

The president later toured an operation centers, met with response commanders and praised the work of firefighters, law enforcement and representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On Thursday Sol Bechtold went to the Butte County Sheriff with DNA samples he hoped would help find his mom, Caddy. But Honea acknowledged the list was "dynamic" and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names.

"I was watching the firemen the other day and they were raking areas, they were raking areas where the fire was right over there", the president complained in a clip.

At a news briefing, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said this was because investigators had thoroughly cross-checked their information, including emergency calls made since the Camp Fire started on 8 November. But he said some of those unaccounted for may never be identified.

"On their way to the RV park, Trump said "I think we're all on the same path" when it came to forest management". It added that while the cause of the fire is still under investigation, if the company's equipment is determined to be the cause, it will suffer a "material impact". "They spend a lot of time raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem", Trump said.

The White House said on Thursday that President Donald Trump, who has been criticized as having politicized the fires by casting blame on forest mismanagement, plans to visit the fire zones on Saturday to meet displaced residents.

A day earlier, at a briefing with Brown, Zinke sidestepped questions about Trump's earlier criticism and said the federal government and the state government are working together to fight the fires.

The smaller Hill Fire, also in Ventura County, covers 4,530 acres and is 99% contained.

The search area is wide and spread out.

The Camp Fire has leveled thousands of homes in Paradise, north of Sacramento.

Officials have said it's hard to determine the number of missing.

Many of those initially reported as missing have been found alive, so Honea emphasized Thursday that the list of missing would fluctuate as new people were reported missing or others turned up safe. Evacuees are asked to check the boards to see if their names appear.

Many on the missing list are over the age of 65. "We have no family looking for us". Weeds. And they're raking them, they're on fire. "That's happening as we speak", Trump said, but offered no details.

"He's going to get these guys, and no pun intended, get a fire under them", he said, referring to state officials in California.

"I think people have to see this really to understand it, " Trump said. Everyone loves California - I certainly do.