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December 12, 2018

Death toll for California’s Camp Fire jumped to 88 Monday night, with more than 200 people still missing

November 27, 2018
In this Nov. 23, 2018, file photo, volunteers resume their search for human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, Calif., following a brief delay to let a downpour pass. The death toll from the massive Camp Fire jumped to 88 on Monday. (Kathleen Ronayne / AP)

The death toll from Northern California’s historic Camp Fire rose to 88 on Monday with 203 people still missing, officials said.

“You’ll recall that last week…that number (of missing people) rose to almost 1,300. So the fact that it’s down to 203 today is a positive trend,” Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea said Monday evening.




“I’m happy to report that there were no additional human remains located today,” he added.

“That is a trend that we’re seeing — that fewer and fewer human remains (are) being located. And that’s positive because we’ve made good progress in covering the vast majority of the area that we need to cover,” he said.

Sheriff Honea released the names of sixteen more victims whose families have been notified of their deaths. They ranged in age from 58 to 95.

He said an arrest in the unincorporated community of Concow on Monday involved a man allegedly making criminal threats toward PG&E utility workers in the area.

“I understand that people are angry and frustrated,” Honea said, “but threatening those individuals only impedes our effort to make the area safe so that we can get people back in there.”

Forensic teams have spent the last two weeks searching the ashen remains of the town of Paradise for human remains, mostly small bone fragments, he said.

The most devastating blaze in California’s recorded history burned some 14,000 homes in and around Paradise as well as 528 commercial structures and 4,293 other buildings, Cal Fire officials said

“The size and scope of this fire is unprecedented,” Honea said at the Monday press briefing streamed on Facebook.

The monster Camp Fire began around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 8 in the drought-parched Sierra Nevada foothills and quickly spread across 240 square miles.

The firefight got a boost last week from the first significant storm to hit California this winter.

The weather event dropped an estimated 7 inches of rain over the burn area during a three-day period without causing significant mudslides, Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service said, according to the Associated Press.

More rain was expected in the area later this week, a development that could hamper remaining search efforts.

Hundreds of miles to the south, Los Angeles County officials have said the Woolsey Fire, which started the same day as the Camp Fire, was fully contained by Nov. 21 after burning for two weeks.

At the height of the fire, 250,000 people fled their homes. Three people died in the Woolsey Fire, and 1,643 buildings, most of them homes, were destroyed, officials said.




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