Death Toll Rises During California Wildfires

Six more bodies were found in the ruins of Paradise and the outlying areas, raising the death toll from the Camp Fire to 29. Around 228 people are still unaccounted for in the Butte County area. 

The statewide death toll now stands at 31 and is expected to rise. 

Ten search and recovery teams were working alongside a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history in Paradise.

As of Sunday, the Camp Fire on Sunday stood at 173 square miles and was 25 percent contained, but Cal Fire spokesman Bill Murphy warned that gusty winds predicted into Monday morning could spark “explosive fire behavior.”

One of the Camp fire’s victims was Ellen Walker, an elderly woman whose body was found in bed in a burned-out house in Concow, near Paradise. She was home alone when the fire struck and her husband tried to alert neighbors to evacuate her while he was at work but she was on medication and might not have been alert. 

Authorities confirmed her death late Friday.

“A fireman took him to the house to confirm,” Nancy Breeding, a family friend, said. “This is a devastating thing, and it’s happening to so many people.”

Read more at AP news

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