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Death toll rises to 23 in California's Camp Fire

The death toll in the Camp Fire in Northern California has risen to 23 with the discovery Saturday of 14 mor...

Posted: Nov 12, 2018 3:24 AM
Updated: Nov 12, 2018 3:24 AM

The death toll in the Camp Fire in Northern California has risen to 23 with the discovery Saturday of 14 more sets of remains, Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea told reporters.

Honea said 10 of the victims were recovered from the fire-ravaged town of Paradise. He said seven people were found in homes, and three were outside. Of the remaining four, two were in cars and two were in houses in an area known as Concow.

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Saturday brought a break in the fierce winds that have whipped the three major wildfires in California that have destroyed a record number of buildings and displaced more than 300,000 people.

But officials know the gusts will be back Sunday and most evacuation orders remain in place.

"Mother Nature has given us a short reprieve ... but we know tomorrow Mother Nature's gonna turn her fan back on and the winds are going to start blowing," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen told reporters. He said he cautioned his firefighters and the public not to be lulled by the better weather Saturday.

"Stay vigilant," he said.

Fire has killed nine people in Northern California and possibly two in Southern California. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Chief John Benedict said the charred remains of two people were found in a car in Malibu, but homicide investigators were still working the case.

Winds could gust as high as 30 to 50 mph, depending on elevation, on Sunday, officials said. Much of the state hasn't seen rain in more than a month, according to CNN meteorologists, and the dry vegetation has only served to fuel the fires.

Latest developments

Burning and growing: The Camp Fire is the largest of the three major fires, swelling to 105,000 acres by Saturday morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. It is the most destructive blaze in the state's modern history. The Woolsey Fire doubled in size overnight, growing to 70,000 acres. The Hill Fire was at 4,500 acres.

Trump tweets: President Donald Trump blamed the wildfires on the "gross mismanagement of the forests" in a tweet early Saturday. "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" he said. In another tweet sent Saturday he wrote: "Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God bless them all."

Massive evacuations: Fire officials estimate the number of people forced from their homes statewide is more than 300,000; in Los Angeles County it is 170,000.

Containment: Firefighters are struggling to put down the flames. The Camp Fire is 20% contained, while the Woolsey Fire is just 5% contained. The Hill Fire was 25% contained.

Destruction: In Northern California, nearly 7,000 structures have been destroyed, including 80% to 90% of the homes in Paradise, north of Sacramento, according to officials. In Los Angeles and Ventura counties, a significant number of homes were destroyed or damaged, fire officials said.

Camp Fire

The Camp Fire has killed at least nine people in Paradise and destroyed 6,453 structures.

The bodies of five people were found in or near a vehicle, and the other four were in or outside a home.

It took just a few hours for the fire to explode in size after breaking out early Thursday morning. Among the communities hit was Paradise, a town about 80 miles north of Sacramento.

Families raced to escape the blaze as it consumed much of the town. Footage captured by evacuees showed flames along roads, scorching trees and devouring houses.

"The flames were whipping and spreading so fast," Whitney Vaughan said after fleeing her home in Paradise. "It began to jump the road. There wasn't anywhere to go."

The town was mostly empty, and the main road littered with downed trees and power lines. Burnt out cars line blackened roadsides, abandoned in the panic and chaos of the evacuations.

"We do intend to rebuild," Paradise Mayor Jody Jones said. "It's going to be a process -- a lot of hard work, a lot of coming together.

"We want to see Paradise be Paradise again."

An estimated 52,000 people evacuated in Butte County, where Paradise is located.

Fire officials said three firefighters and some civilians were hurt, but details about their injuries were unknown. About 35 people have been reported missing, authorities said.

Woolsey Fire

More than 200,000 people have fled in Ventura County and in Malibu in Los Angeles County due to the Woolsey Fire, officials said.

Firefighters worked to protect thousands of students and staff sheltering in place Saturday at Pepperdine University as flames started reaching the campus overnight, school officials said.

The fire crossed US 101 a few miles east of Thousand Oaks -- the site of Wednesday night's bar shooting -- and was headed south to the Pacific coast in the direction of Malibu Creek State Park and the city of Malibu, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

In Malibu, mandatory evacuations were ordered for the entire city of about 12,000 people that's known for its celebrity beachside homes.

Two people were arrested in looting incidents Friday during the evacuations, according to Ventura County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Buschow.

The howling Santa Ana winds fueled the Woolsey Fire. These are strong, dry winds that high-pressure systems push from east to west, from the mountains and desert areas down into the Los Angeles area.

Fire officials said the winds had temporarily died down Saturday, giving them a brief opportunity to make progress.

"This is just a lull," Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said, "so we're going to take advantage of that and try to get as much line perimeter in as we can with the expectation that we will get more winds tomorrow."

Another round of Santa Ana winds is forecast to whip the area Sunday through Tuesday, though it may be weaker than Friday's.

Hill Fire

The Hill Fire is burning near the site of this week's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.

"It's been a brutal, hellish three days for the city of Thousand Oaks," City Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña said at a news conference on Saturday.

The fire started Thursday and initially spread quickly, torching 10,000 acres in six hours. But firefighters have made some progress.

Part of the fast-moving blaze was burning into the footprint of a 2013 wildfire, which could slow its spread, chief Lorenzen said.

No houses or businesses have been lost, but a number of RVs and outbuildings have been burned, and a firefighter suffered a minor injury, authorities said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 610839

Reported Deaths: 7749
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1266401800
Ramsey53172911
Dakota47328475
Anoka43323465
Washington27717296
Stearns22703227
St. Louis18297319
Scott17719139
Wright16561153
Olmsted13549103
Sherburne1215696
Carver1075749
Clay829692
Rice8261111
Blue Earth771944
Crow Wing689599
Kandiyohi670885
Chisago627654
Otter Tail591187
Benton586698
Goodhue486174
Douglas479281
Mower478233
Winona464652
Itasca463168
Isanti446667
McLeod435161
Morrison428462
Beltrami410763
Nobles410150
Steele401419
Polk390772
Becker389457
Lyon365554
Carlton356958
Freeborn352134
Pine337823
Nicollet334545
Mille Lacs315456
Brown308840
Le Sueur300127
Cass288633
Todd288633
Meeker266244
Waseca241023
Martin237233
Roseau212421
Wabasha20843
Hubbard198341
Dodge19023
Renville183946
Redwood178541
Houston175916
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore159710
Faribault157220
Chippewa154138
Pennington153920
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin139437
Watonwan13629
Rock129219
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115420
Pope11406
Swift107618
Murray107410
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89317
Marshall88917
Lake84520
Wilkin84013
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49122
Unassigned48793
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3484
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
Unassigned90
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