Death Toll in California Wildfires Climbs to 44

The officials said they had discovered the remains of 13 more people, bringing the death toll to 42, making it the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, the sheriff of Butte County said.The increased death toll comes as first responders battle blazes on both ends of the state, and brings the statewide death toll to 44.

At least 228 people are missing, as the Camp Fire continues to rage. Nearly 7,200 structures have been destroyed, and another 15,500 are at risk.

The fire has now surpassed the 1933 Griffith Park disaster that killed 31.

In the south, the Woolsey Fire has claimed two lives as it damaged beach resorts, including Malibu.

An estimated 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes across the state.

Some bodies were found in gutted cars that were overrun by the fast-moving blaze.

Among the victims were also elderly residents with mobility issues or people who decided to stay despite evacuation orders.

Forensic experts are stepping up their search in the ruins of Paradise, but officials warn that finding the bodies could take weeks.

Camp fire: More than 52,000 have been evacuated and 1,385 are in shelters due to the Camp Fire. It has scorched more than 117,000 acres of Northern California, and destroyed more than 7,000 structures, including 6,453 single-family residences.
As of Monday night, it was about 30% contained.

The separate Woosley Blaze started on Thursday near Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles (64km) north-west of central Los Angeles.

Woolsey Fire: In Southern California, 57,000 structures are threatened by the Woolsey Fire. It has burned more than 93,000 acres, killed two people and destroyed at least 435 structures. As of Monday, it was about 30% contained.

Luxury homes in Malibu and other beach communities are among the properties razed by the flames.

The evacuees included celebrities who lost their homes in Malibu including Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian-West, Lady Gaga, and Orlando Bloom. Caitlyn Jenner evacuated her Malibu home on Friday, fearing it would be destroyed by the flames.

About 100 people are still unaccounted for statewide, authorities said Monday. Officials are hoping those people are safe elsewhere, but with wildfires still burning, the death toll is expected to rise.

The fire, which continues to rage in the hills and ravines east of the city of Chico, is also the most destructive fire in California history.

President Trump on Monday evening said on Twitter that he had approved a request to declare the fires in California a major disaster, making people affected eligible for various types of federal government support.

In recent years, warmer temperatures across the western US have fueled more destructive flames than the region has ever seen. The 2017 fire season, which scorched vines across California wine country, was the costliest to date, triggering over $9.4 billion in losses.

The flames aren’t limited to one season anymore.