PARADISE (CBS13/AP) – The latest on the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history:
Authorities have reported 13 more fatalities from a blaze in Northern California that destroyed a town, bringing the total death toll so far to 42 and making it the deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.
The dead have been found in burned-out cars, in the smoldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could jump in behind the wheel and escape.
In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that coroner’s investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them. The search for bodies was continuing.
Hundreds of people were unaccounted for by the sheriff’s reckoning, four days after the fire swept over the town of 27,000 with flames so fierce that authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and forensic anthropologists to help identify the dead.
The statewide death toll from wildfires over the past week has reached 44.
A 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed 29 people, and a series of wildfires in Northern California’s wine country last fall killed 44 people.
The Camp Fire has grown to 117,000 acres and is just 30 percent contained, Cal Fire said. In a press conference Monday evening, firefighters said a total of 7,117 structures have been destroyed in the blaze, 6,453 of those structures were single-family residences.
President Donald Trump says he has approved an “expedited” major disaster declaration for California over the deadly wildfires burning at both ends of the state.
Trump tweeted Monday night that he “wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on.”
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown had requested the declaration, which would make victims eligible for crisis counseling, housing and unemployment help, and legal aid.
Trump previously blamed “poor” forest management for the fires. Brown says federal and state governments must do more forest management but says climate change is the greater source of the problem.
More than 30 people have been confirmed dead in the wildfires. Most of the deaths have come from the fire that obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise.
A Northern California man who led a caravan of vehicles that was overcome by flames from a wildfire says he saw his friend die.
Greg Woodcox told The Associated Press Monday that he heard his friend scream as the heat blew out windows. Four other people in the vehicles died.
They were among at least 29 people who have lost their lives in a wildfire that decimated the town of Paradise.
Woodcox said he was too exhausted to talk more by phone.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, the 58-year-old Woodcox said he was in a Jeep ahead of the other vehicles and ran when the flames overtook them.
He said he followed a fox to a path down a steep embankment, and he survived by submerging himself in a stream for nearly an hour.
A newspaper says firefighters and state employees are clearing brush and spreading water to prevent damage to a Northern California reservoir and dam if a wildfire passes through.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the work was underway Monday at Lake Oroville while the fire is still about 10 miles from the reservoir’s power plants and water-supply facilities.
State Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said officials were closely monitoring the blaze. The fire has killed at least 29 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.
Spillways at the 770-foot Oroville Dam crumbled and fell away during heavy rains in early 2017, prompting thousands to flee over fears of a possible catastrophic release of water.
A $1.1 billion reconstruction project was completed last month.
A woman who owns property near the location where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California says she got an email from utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. last week. It said crews needed to come on her property because their transmission system was causing sparks.
It’s still not clear what caused the massive fire that has killed 29 people. PG&E said Thursday it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out.
It started in the area of 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley.
She said she had received an email on Wednesday, the day before the fire started, saying that crews needed to come to her property.
Cowley said the email said crews were coming to work on the high-power lines because “they were having problems with sparks.”
PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by AP.
California fire investigators were at the site of transmission lines in the area on Monday.
Fire officials in Northern California say firefighters are battling two spot fires south of the town leveled by a blaze that has killed at least 29 people.
Cal Fire Deputy Operations Chief Monty Smith says dense, dry vegetation is fueling the spot fires Monday on each side of Lake Oroville.
A fire behavior specialist at Cal Fire, Jonathan Pangburn, said earlier that major winds combined with tinder dry conditions helped the fire jump over the lake Sunday night.
The area near Paradise is expected to see wind gusts as high as 40 mph (64 kmph) by Monday evening.
Smith says firefighters are working to build a contingency line to stop the fire from reaching Oroville, a town of 19,000 people.
A community meeting has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday for the Camp Fire.
The meeting will be held at the State Theater at 1489 Myers Street in Oroville.
Agencies coordinating the fight against the Camp Fire will be hosting the meeting and will be briefing the community. No exact agenda for the meeting has been announced yet.
Food television personality Guy Fieri is making sure the first responders fighting the Camp Fire aren’t going hungry.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office posted a tweet on Sunday showing Fieri paying a visit to the law enforcement staging area at Butte College. But he wasn’t just there for a photo op, Fieri made sure to fill the first responders’ bellies.
It’s not the first time this year that Fieri has paid a visit to the scene of a wildfire.
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Fieri helped serve up more than a thousand meals to evacuees of the Carr Fire near Redding over the summer.
The Food Network host also cooked for evacuees in his hometown of Santa Rosa during the 2017 Wine Country wildfires.
8: 01 a.m.
The Salvation Army has a list of sites where their teams are helping Camp Fire evacuees.
The following sites are open for food, emotional and spiritual care:
Bidwell Jr High School–2376 North Ave.
Neighborhood Church–2801 Notre Dame Blvd.
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church– 13539 Garner Ln.
Butte College–3536 Butte Campus Dr.
Oroville Nazarene Church–2238 Monte Vista Ave.
Butte County Fairgrounds–199 E Hazel St, Gridley, CA 95948
Glenn County Fairgrounds–221 E Yolo St, Orland, CA 95963
Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds– 442 Franklin Ave, Yuba City, CA 95991
The Salvation Army says that, so far, about 13,000 meals have been given out to evacuees and first responders.
The Camp Fire has grown to 113,000 acres as of Monday morning, according to Cal Fire’s latest numbers. Containment of the fire still stands at 25 percent.
Officials said the fire moved north and east overnight, but not towards Chico or Oroville.
Paradise’s fire chief said crews are still performing rescues and protecting structures, along with manning the fire lines.
Officials noted that not more than a 1/2″ of rain has fallen in the area over the past 211 days.
Officials have released another grim statistic in a wildfire that is achieving heartbreaking records: 29 people have died in and around Paradise, matching the deadliest wildfire in state history.
That brings the death toll from fires this week to 31 statewide. Authorities called in a DNA lab and teams of anthropologists to help identify victims.
More than 220 people remain unaccounted for in Northern California as whipping winds and tinder-dry conditions threaten more areas through the rest of the week.
For some, the scope of the devastation was starting to set in.
Public safety officials toured the Paradise area to begin discussing the recovery process. Much of what makes the city function is gone.