California wildfire: Death-toll rises to 77; search for victims continues
Authorities say one more set of human remains has been found, bringing the total number killed in the devastating California wildfire to 77. Over a thousand names remain on a list of those unaccounted for after the so-called "Camp Fire" swept through the town of Paradise on November 8. Authorities stressed many of those may be safe and unaware they have been reported missing.
Flames destroyed over 10,500 homes; fire 65% contained yesterday
A state incident report released yesterday evening says the flames destroyed more than 10,500 homes. Hundreds of volunteers are sifting through ash and debris, searching for human remains before expected rains complicate their efforts. The predicted downpours could wash away telltale fragments of bone, or turn loose, dry ash into a thick paste that would frustrate the search. The fire was 65% contained yesterday.
Volunteers leaving notes in case no remains are found
Crews searching for human remains are stepping up their efforts ahead of rains forecast. A team of 10 volunteers along with a cadaver dog was examining burned houses yesterday in a Paradise neighborhood. They are focusing on vehicles, bathtubs, and mattress springs that indicate a charred bed. If no remains are found, the team leaves a note in orange spray paint near the home.
National Park Service tracking animals, says 12 found, one missing
The National Park Service says all but one of 13 mountain lions being tracked in Southern California mountains have been accounted for following the wildfire. The only missing mountain lion was one dubbed P-74, a young male born last year. In addition, all four bobcats that the agency monitors via GPS have been located in the Santa Monica Mountains, northwest of Los Angeles.
Woolsey Fire: Now 88% contained, has destroyed 1,130 buildings
The huge Southern California wildfire, "Woolsey Fire", has destroyed 1,130 buildings, many of them homes, and damaged 300. The tally is continuing. Officials have again increased the number of homes and other structures burned by the wildfire. Firefighters are also said to be making progress against it. More evacuees have been allowed back in their homes and the 391-square-kilometer blaze is now 88% contained.
California Governor says Trump has 'got our back'
Meanwhile, California's Governor Jerry Brown said in an interview on CBS's 'Face the Nation', which aired yesterday, that President Donald Trump, has "got our back" and has pledged to continue to help. Trump initially blamed state officials for poor forest management in exacerbating the fires and threatened to cut federal funding. He has since signed an emergency declaration and toured the devastated areas Saturday.
Pope Francis offered prayers for victims of wildfires, freezing weather
Brown also suggested in the CBS interview that the wildfires will make believers of even the most ardent climate change skeptics "in less than five years" and that those living near forests might need to build underground shelters to protect them from wildfires going forward. Pope Francis has prayed for victims of California's wildfires and freezing weather on the US East Coast.