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Death toll from California wildfires at 50 POST Online Media

Death toll from California wildfires at 50

Staff Writer | Wednesday November 14, 2018 4:29AM ET
California wildfires
California wildfires   More than 200,000 acres, 9,200 structures destroyed

The death toll in wildfires in the state of California rose to 50, officials said Tuesday.

The Camp Fire surpassed state records, becoming the most deadly and most destructive fire the state has ever seen.

It has burned 130,000 acres, at least 8,800 structures and killed 48 people. It is being fought by more than 5,600 fire personnel, yet the fire continues to grow.

"This the deadliest fire in the wildland fire history of the United States," said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea at a news conference Monday.

Two people were also killed in the Woolsey Fire in southern California as it tore through the affluent neighborhoods of Malibu. The fire burned more than 97,000 acres and destroyed at least 435 structures.

More than 200 people were still missing as a result of the fire and the name list would be published soon, said Honea.

Repopulation notices were given to some residents in the areas affected by the fire, however, they may not have homes to return to.

Red Flag Warnings, the highest level fire alert, were issued by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) across the entire state stretching from the northern border with Oregon and the southern border with Mexico.

The recovery teams were using "cutting-edge technology" to identify the badly-burnt bodies.

According to local media, a Rapid DNA-analysis system was setting up in the decimated town, which was equipped with portable devices that can identify someone's genetic material in hours, rather than days or weeks it takes to test samples in labs.


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