Deadly California Wildfire Finally Contained After 2 Weeks as Death Toll Climbs to 88
A pair of California wildfires that burned across thousands of acres and led to 88 deaths total have finally been contained
The deadly Northern California fire that ruined a city and led to dozens of deaths is completely contained after burning for more than two weeks, officials say.
As of Sunday, the Camp Fire was 100 percent contained after first sparking on Nov. 8 and burning across more 153,000 acres, according to Cal Fire. The fire left 85 dead and 249 people injured, Cal Fire reported.
Miles away, near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire killed three people and burned across more than 96,000 acres before it was completely contained as of Wednesday. The Hill Fire in Ventura County burned for a little over a week before it was contained.
Although the Camp Fire is now finally contained, rainfall that helped quell the fires in parts of the state have caused new problems for residents and search and rescue teams.
“Areas experiencing significant rainfall following a wildfire are at risk for debris flows and flash flooding,” the Butte County Sheriff’s Office warned in a statement.
At least 52,000 people fled the area when the Camp Fire broke out, with many now living in hotels, with relatives, or even in makeshift shelters, according to the Washington Post. As families struggle to determine their next steps, crowded temporary accommodations have led to poor living conditions and disease.
“Temporary accommodations are being overwhelmed by overcrowding and disease,” Frances Stead Sellers, Scott Wilson and Tim Craig wrote on Monday in the Post, noting that more than 120 people have contracted what appears to be a highly contagious infection known as norovirus.
Now, officials are struggling to respond to the massive displacement as a result of the fires.
“People keep using the word ‘unprecedented,’ and I keep looking for a different word, but I can’t find one because it works so well,” Butte County spokeswoman Casey Hatcher told the Post. “We have an entire community that is displaced.”
The Camp Fire devastated the city of Paradise, leaving hundreds missing and dozens dead.
The fiercest of the blazes, the Camp Fire, is the deadliest fire in state’s history. The number of people missing as a result of the fire is down to 249 from about 1,000. Butte County officials have announced that 2,503 people are now accounted for.
However, a search for victims in Paradise came to a halt on Friday due to rain and strong winds, according to KCRA.
“You look up, and you see these things hanging in the trees, and now they’re blowing around real hard and fall down,” Craig Covey, with the Orange County Fire Authority, told KCRA.