‘The whole town is gone.’ Drone video reveals the scale of fire destruction in Paradise
This story was updated at 7:30 a.m. Pacific time, Sunday, Nov. 25
Firefighters have been battling two large California wildfires late in the fire season, including a Northern California blaze that has killed at least 85 people and destroyed more than 18,000 buildings. Nearly 570 people remain missing as of Friday.
In 2018, 7,899 wildfires have ravaged more than 1.8 million acres as of Nov. 21, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Here’s the latest on those two main fires.
In Butte County in Northern California, the Camp Fire, which erupted Nov. 8, has burned 153,336 acres, killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 13,700 homes as of Sunday morning, reported the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Authorities Saturday erroneously reported the number of fatalities as 87.
The blaze, the cause of which remains under investigation, swept through the foothill town of Paradise, laying waste to the community of 27,000, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Some of the dead were found in vehicles overcome by flames as they tried to flee, while others were found in burned homes, according to the publication. Nearly 570 people remain missing.
The Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Numerous evacuations are in effect for the wildfire, which also has destroyed 528 businesses, reported Cal Fire.
The Camp Fire has reached 100 percent containment, according to Cal Fire. Three of the 5,600 firefighters battling the blaze have been injured.
Cal Fire said it expects the Camp Fire to be fully contained by Friday.
In Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California, the Woolsey Fire, which broke out Nov. 8, burned 96,949 acres, killed at least three people and destroyed an estimated 1,500 structures. As of Wednesday at 6:11 p.m., the fire was fully contained, according to Cal Fire.
The fire prompted evacuations of entire communities. How the blaze ignited remains under investigation.
The Woolsey Fire began in Simi Valley and quickly spread in several directions to threaten Malibu and other coastal communities, jumping Highway 101 in three places, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Among the evacuees are numerous celebrities living near Malibu, including several who reported their homes have been destroyed. Among them are Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, Robin Thicke and Neil Young.
Three firefighters battling the blaze have been injured.
This story has been updated on Nov. 25 to reflect a correction in the death toll of the Camp Fire. Authorities earlier erroneously reported the number of fatalities as 87. The correct number as of Nov. 25 is 85.