California wildfire almost contained, but hundreds still missing

Aaron Brown
November 29, 2018

The Camp Fire's death toll rose to 88, and 203 people were still missing, the Butte County sheriff said on Monday, a day after the deadliest and most destructive blaze in California's history had been fully contained.

Crews continued sifting through ash and debris for human remains.

Searchers wore yellow rain slickers and hard hats to protect against falling branches Friday as they looked for clues that may indicate someone couldn't get out of their home, such as a auto in the driveway or a wheelchair ramp.

Only on Sunday did authorities announce that the fire was 100 percent contained, thanks to some heavy rain during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, although they stressed that it would be months before firefighters would be able to completely extinguish it.

Thousands of people remain displaced, some in emergency shelters or hotels and some in makeshift campsites. "Collaboration btwn federal, state & local partners is a priority when it comes to helping folks get back on their feet".

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PolitiFact said that Trump's November 10 statement that "there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor" was "overly simplistic and false". About 7 inches of rain fell over the burn area for three days without causing major mudslides, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service. Almost 19,000 buildings, majority homes, have been destroyed.

The Woolsey Fire, a separate fire that burned through nearly 100,000 acres in Southern California and killed at least three, was declared fully contained on Wednesday.

"You look up, and you see these things hanging in the trees, and now they're blowing around real hard and fall down", Craig Covey of the Orange County Fire Authority told the TV station.

The fire erupted amid strong winds November 8 just west of Los Angeles and burned through suburban communities and wilderness parklands to the ocean, leaving vast areas of blackened earth and many homes in ashes.

Many of those found were unaware they were on the missing list, officials said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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