Death toll from California wildfires climbs to 51
The death toll from the two massive wildfires affecting California climbed to 51 on Wednesday after another body was found in the south of the state, while more than 100 people have been reported missing in the Camp Fire, north of San Francisco.
The spokeswoman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department , Nicole Nishida, announced that a charred body was found at a home in Agoura Hills, increasing the death toll of the Woolsey Fire to three, which has affected the wealthy enclaves of Malibu and Calabasas.
Meanwhile, the Camp Fire, which has become the deadliest blaze in California’s history, continues to ravage the northern part of the state.
On Tuesday, authorities announced the discovery of the remains of six people killed in the Camp Fire, increasing the massive wildfire’s death toll to 48.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office published on Wednesday a “partial” list with the names, ages and places of residence of 103 missing persons.
Authorities on Tuesday requested that 100 National Guard troops join rescue workers to search for the missing persons, who are mostly from Paradise, a town of 26,000 residents that was completely engulfed by the blaze.
The Camp Fire is not only the deadliest in the state’s history, but also the most destructive, as it has destroyed nearly 9,000 structures, including some 7,700 homes.
The two wildfires have continued to advance, though at a slower pace than last week.
The Camp Fire is 35 percent contained, while the Woolsey Fire is 47 percent contained.
Although the origin of the Camp Fire remains under investigation, some of the people affected by the blaze presented a lawsuit against utility Pacific Gas & Electric.
PG&E told regulators last week that it detected a problem in a high voltage transmission line just before the fire broke out in the vicinity.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump approved an expedited request for a major disaster declaration for California, which provides financial assistance from the federal government to the affected communities.