Corrected: Grim search for 1,276 missing after deadliest California wildfire

(Corrects to remove reference to Sacramento in paragraph 13) By Terray Sylvester PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) - Authorities sifted through the charred wreckage of California's deadliest ever wildfire on Sunday, searching for any signs of the 1,276 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise.

Reuters November 19, 2018 01:05:27 IST
Corrected: Grim search for 1,276 missing after deadliest California wildfire

Corrected Grim search for 1276 missing after deadliest California wildfire

(Corrects to remove reference to Sacramento in paragraph 13)

By Terray Sylvester

PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) - Authorities sifted through the charred wreckage of California's deadliest ever wildfire on Sunday, searching for any signs of the 1,276 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise.

The remains of 76 people have been recovered so far, 63 of whom have been tentatively identified pending DNA confirmation. Early on Sunday the blaze, which ignited on Nov. 8, was 60 percent contained, officials said, up from 55 percent Saturday.

Rain is forecast for the area this week, potentially helping douse the blazes but raising the risk of floods and mudslides, adding to the misery of 46,000 people under evacuation orders.

On Saturday, two forensic anthropologists for the University of Nevada, Reno, were helping firefighters sort through the wreckage at a mobile home park for senior citizens in Paradise.

Firefighters peeled back the metal sheet of a collapsed roof as the anthropologists picked up visibly charred bone fragments, sorting them into paper bags.

Roger Fielding, chief deputy coroner with the Martin County Sheriff's Office, said that each site was treated as a crime scene, with every step of recovery documented with photographs.

"Our job is to pick up any items that might reflect who this person might be," he said.

Besides the toll on human life, property losses from the blaze make it the most destructive in California history, posing the additional challenge of providing long-term shelter for many thousands of displaced residents.

Up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain is expected to fall from late Tuesday through Friday in the Sierra foothills, the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said.

Rain will also drop on San Francisco, helping to clear the air filled with unhealthy levels of smoke from the Camp Fire about 175 miles (280 km) to the north.

Patrick Burke, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said the rain will be a "one-two-punch."

"It'll bring much needed relief to the firefighters and to the air quality, but there's a potential for dangerous mudslides wherever vegetation is burned away on slopes and hills," he said.

Up to 2 inches of rain is also expected to fall on southern California this week, where the Woolsey Fire claimed at least three lives, Burke said.

California fire officials said on Sunday morning that the Woolsey Fire was 88 percent contained and that full containment will occur on Thanksgiving Thursday.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump visited Paradise and the scene of the Woolsey Fire.

Trump has blamed the recent spate of fires on forest mismanagement, and he said he discussed the issue with California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom.

(Reporting by Terray Sylvester; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington, Rich McKay in Atlanta and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.