Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

California wildfire is now deadliest, most destructive in history

California wildfire is now deadliest, most destructive in history

Of these, 48 have died as a result of Northern California's Camp Fire which has become the most destructive and deadly blaze in the state's history.

The sheriff said he also has requested three portable morgue teams from the US military, a "disaster mortuary" crew and an unspecified number of cadaver dog units to assist in the search for human remains.

Fire crews are seen policing a street in Paradise after the worst of the fires passed (right). The town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains looks like a wasteland. Firefighters pulled her inside, but they, too, were trapped, she said - until a bulldozer came through and cleared a path to safety.

When contacted on Tuesday for comment about the decision not to shut off power, PG&E spokesman Jason King said, "we are not able to share more information beyond" what is in its official report.

Temporary schools and hospitals will be brought in, Long said.

An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to avoid three major blazes in the state.

Debris removal in Paradise and outlying communities will have to wait until the search for victims finishes, he said.

Amid the wreckage, search teams continued to sift through rubble and ash. "Just about everyone I know lost their home".

The soldiers targeted homes of the missing. He also was keeping an eye out for human remains.

As Gill spoke, people listened with tear-streaked faces in the audience of about two dozen residents.

"We're in a different kind of world", he said. "So they are releasing the names in batches". They haven't disclosed the total number still missing, but earlier in the week that figure was more than 200.

Sol Bechtold is searching for his 75-year-old mother, Joanne Caddy.

"In an effort to better inform the public, this list of reported missing persons is being provided", a message on the sheriff's website says.

Ms Loo told KTVU-TV in Oakland that her father taught music out of their home in San Francisco and turned the living room into a studio.

There was also an additional 150 search-and-rescue personnel on top of 13 teams already looking for remains - a grim indication that the death toll is likely to rise.

"I feel frightful for the sheriff".

Paradise resident Nichole Jolly said she thought her life was over when flames surrounded her vehicle, filling it with smoke.

According to local media, a Rapid DNA-analysis system is set up in the decimated town, equipped with portable devices that can identify someone's genetic material in hours, rather than the days or weeks it takes to test samples in labs. The church serves as a shelter for some of the more than 1,000 who escaped from the fire.

PG&E shares have lost almost half their value since the Camp Fire broke out last week, from almost $50 last Wednesday to as low as $27 in Wednesday morning trading.

The family stood in shoulder-deep water as flames singed the vegetation on the shore behind them.

Before the Paradise tragedy, the deadliest single fire on record in California was a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles that killed 29.

While the causes of the Camp and Woolsey fires have not been determined, state regulators are investigating two utility companies that reported incidents shortly before the two fires started.

People whose homes were destroyed in the recent blaze sued PG&E on Tuesday, accusing it of negligence for failing to properly inspect and manage its power lines and blaming it for the fire.

PG&E customer Betsy Ann Cowley told the Daily Mail that she received an email from the power company on November 7, warning her that crews would need to come inspect power lines on her land because "they were having problems with sparks".

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