56 Dead And 130 Missing In California's Worst Forest Fire
By Reuters one hour ago
The National Guard joined efforts to search for more victims among the ruins of a burnt-out town in northern California while the death toll rose to 56 in the worst forest fire in state history in terms of death toll and destruction.
The authorities announced the latest death toll, while a revised list of 130 people reported to relatives reported missing after the flames largely destroyed the town of Paradise on the Sierra Hills, about 280 km north of San Francisco, on Thursday.
Most people on the list of missing persons are 65 years old. The initial number of those missing in the fatal fire, known as Camp Fire, was about 230 missing.
More than 8,900 homes and buildings have been burned in and around Paradis and some 50,000 residents of the area are still being ordered to evacuate.
Some survivors have exacerbated the spread of Norovirus, a highly contagious intestinal disease, in a shelter housing some 200 displaced people in nearby Chico.
A spokeswoman for the Public Health Authority, Lisa Almagir, said at least 20 people could be infected with the virus.
The area hit by the fire in six days 135 thousand acres until Wednesday, although the decline of wind and high level of humidity helped the efforts of firefighters.
"The place looks like a battlefield," California Gov. Jerry Brown, who toured with US Secretary of State Ryan Zincki and other officials in the disaster areas, said on Wednesday. It's a battlefield. "
The fire, caused by deforestation, came after two seasons of successive forest fires in California, scientists say the main cause of the drought is the long-lasting drought that is the impact of climate change.
It coincided with a wave of fires in southern California, most notably the Woolsey Fire, which killed at least two people, destroyed more than 500 buildings and displaced about 200,000 people in mountains and hills near the Malibu coast west of Los Angeles.
California fire officials said the fire was contained by 52 percent by Wednesday evening.