Dead in cars and homes: Northern California fire toll at 42

Dead in cars and homes: Northern California fire toll at 42

Dead in cars and homes: Northern California fire toll at 42

While the so-called Camp Fire in the north has exacted a devastating human toll of 42 lives so far and essentially erased the town of Paradise, down south the flames have killed two people whose bodies were found in a auto.

The Camp Fire, which has already burned through 117,000 acres and destroyed 6,453 structures in Northern California, was only 30 percent contained by Tuesday. "One of the things that I saw when I was up there is that there is so much debris in some of these areas that it's very hard to determine whether or not there might be human remains there". And in October, Southern California Edison said its equipment was at least in part to blame for the Thomas Fire that burned more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties past year.

It comes as the number of people killed in the state's deadliest fire rises to 50, with North California worst affected.

Melissa Schuster, a member of the Paradise town council, told ABC News that the entire town "is a toxic wasteland right now".

Ernest Foss, 63, was a musician who had moved to the town of Paradise from San Francisco eight years ago.


They have charred 93,000 acres (38,000 hectares) of land, nearly as much as the fire up north. "There are so many communities here, trailer parks and suburban working-class houses that are completely destroyed, and people have lost everything", the "300" star said, taking a moment to compose himself and looking down at the ground.

Officials say that on top of thousands of homes, more than 250 local commercial buildings have fallen victim. "I just don't know", said Hall, adding that the couple had only a landline and calls were not going through to it.

A landowner near where the blaze began said PG&E notified her the day before the wildfire that crews needed to come onto her property because some wires were sparking. His body was found outside his home in Paradise, according to reports.

The fire has destroyed about 7,700 homes. "We're feeling better", Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said. Brown said federal and state governments must do more forest management but that climate change is the greater source of the problem.

The cause of the fires remained under investigation, but they broke out around the time and place two utilities reported equipment trouble.

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