The wildfire has taken at least 23 lives and has left a massive trail of destroyed homes, cars and businesses.
Northern California’s Camp Fire has officially become the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. The catastrophic blaze is leaving only charred remains of homes, businesses and vehicles. Even more devastating is the tragic loss of life, as at least 23 people have been killed.
California has been plagued by wildfires in recent years, with this blaze already seeing the most destruction.
The death toll rose over the weekend as bodies were recovered within and in the region around the Paradise mountain community. Paradise is about 90 miles north of Sacramento and has experienced catastrophic destruction from the Camp Fire, said Scott Maclean, spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
By the time of this writing, Maclean said there were no immediate details available regarding the circumstances that lead to the deaths. Moreover, he added that identification of the victims would be difficult as the wildfire left them badly burned.
The Camp Fire has burned thousands of homes, breaking previous structure burning records in the state.
So far, the Camp Fire has destroyed more than 6,700 Paradise homes and businesses. This is more than any other wildfire on record has destroyed. Officials have warned that the destruction and the death toll is likely to rise. This makes the fire one of the deadliest in state history as well. The only two wildfires to have claimed more lives in California were one in 1991 called the Tunnel Fire, as well as one back in 1933, called the Griffith Park Fire.
Several of the victims’ bodies were discovered inside or near their burned cars, said police. The flames came upon the region so quickly that many residents were taken completely off guard. In fact, several people were forced to leave their vehicles behind to run down the only road from the mountain town on foot.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Hornea has already received reports of 110 people who remain missing in the region of Northern California affected by the Camp Fire. Moreover, it isn’t the only wildfire burning in the area. Only 500 miles to the south, the Woolsey fire is burning in the foothills above Malibu. Overnight from Saturday to Sunday, that wildfire doubled in size and is a direct threat to thousands of homes there, where mandatory evacuation orders are in place for over 250,000 people. Other L.A. communities and Ventura counties are also affected.