Death toll in California wildfires rises to at least 59
The death toll from wildifres in California jumped to 59 on Wednesday after eight more bodies were discovered on Wednesday in the north of the state, local officials said.
In statements to the media, the Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea, said that the eight new victims have raised the death toll from the Camp Fire, the deadliest in the state’s history, to 56, while the other three deaths occurred in southern California.
Six of the eight bodies were recovered from inside buildings while two were found outside.
Hornea also said that 130 people remained missing and that his office has already released the names, ages and residence of 103 of them.
The majority of the missing are residents of the town of Paradise, with a population of 26,000, which was completely destroyed in the blaze.
The town is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range boasting a dry and sunny climate that in the last half a century has attracted many pensioners, causing the town’s population to triple.
Most people who appear on the missing list are over 60 years of age.
The Camp Fire has now destroyed a total of 10,321 buildings (8,650 of them homes), razed 55,846 hectares (137,998 acres) while firefighters have managed to contain it by about 35 percent so far.
California Governor Jerry Brown and US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the affected area Wednesday and promised state and federal aid to assist in recovery efforts.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday reported the discovery of another body, which increased the fatalities to three from the Woolsey Fire which affects, among others, the populations of Malibu and Calabasas in southern California.