Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

California Camp Fire joins list of most destructive blazes in the state

California Camp Fire joins list of most destructive blazes in the state

Since last week, three deadly wildfires - Camp Fire, Hill Fire, and Woosley Fire - have been ripping through Northern and Southern California, leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced and many homes and businesses lost. The Camp Fire burned almost 7,000 buildings and is the most destructive individual fire in state history.

The large majority of those burned were in the city of Paradise, where some 6,700 homes and structures were burned by the Camp Fire, setting a new record for the most destructive fire in recent California history. Two people were killed in Malibu, and the fire destroyed at least 370 or so structures, authorities said.

The National Weather Service has issued a "red flag" alert warning of "extremely critical" weather conducive to the spread of fire through Tuesday, with especially high winds expected in mountainous areas.

USA singer Miley Cyrus' home was one of the destroyed southern California buildings.

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) has deployed almost 150 firefighters and 42 fire engines to California to help with wildfire suppression efforts.

PG&E said a transmission line in the area of the Camp blaze - about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco - went offline 15 minutes before the fire was first reported.

Officials said they did not know how many people were missing four days after the fire swept over the town of 27,000 and practically wiped it off the map with flames so fierce that authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and forensic anthropologists to help identify the dead.

The Ventura County Humane Society said it was "deeply humbled by a US$100,000 (S$138,100) donation from (actress) Sandra Bullock and family" to rescue and care for the animals evacuated from the fires.

In an Instagram post, the star can be seen standing in front of a burnt out auto, which he captioned: "Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating".

"These are extreme conditions", Osby said.

"I've never seen one with this intensity, for this long, that took out so much property and caused such havoc", he said.

The fire destroyed 63 residences, 67 minor structures and one commercial structure.

"It's not the house, because you can rebuild. It's all gone", Malibu resident Marcella Shirk, 82, told KABC-TV.

"Managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change - and those that deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedy, " Brown said.

"Fires do not respect politics, though, so I would beg the President to pursue a major disaster declaration and not make this a political incident", Stern said. With more than 200 people still unaccounted for, families who are desperate for answers are posting pictures of their loved ones online and on message boards at shelters.

"Right now, what is needed is, really, support", Rice said.

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