Heartbreaking Photos Show Devastation of Camp Fire in California as Death Toll Rises to 71
Fire officials confirmed the death toll for the Camp Fire disaster in California has increased to 71 casualties.
During a news conference on Friday, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea confirmed the bodies of eight people were found since Thursday evening, according to multiple local news outlets. Of those, seven people were found in Paradise and one person was found in Magalia.
In addition, the number of missing people in California’s most deadly and destructive fire is now 1,011. More than 12,000 structures have been destroyed.
On Thursday, photographer Josh Edelson captured heartbreaking images of a burned neighborhood in Paradise, a city in the northeastern Sacramento Valley that has been heavily affected by the wildfires.
Aerial views of the neighborhood show the devastation from the flames which left all the houses gutted with only its concrete foundation, blackened metal and charred remains.
The number of people who perished in the Camp Fire has more than doubled the number from the second-deadliest wildfire in state history — the 1933 Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles, according to the Mercury News.
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“This had to be one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had,” Cal Fire firefighter Josh Smario, 23, recently told PEOPLE about the once-picturesque town.
“Standing in what used to be my house while I’m working to save the town I live in. The house I thought my son would experience his first years of his life in. Then hopping right back in the engine to go fight the blaze that took my house and my grandparents’ house,” Smario said.
“It wiped out all of my family’s houses, but thank God they all made it out safe,” he added. “It’s a war zone. When you saw how many bodies didn’t make it out, I could care less about the things that were lost.”
On Friday, the town of Paradise announced there will be a vigil for all those impacted by the Camp Fire. The vigil will take place on Nov. 18 from 4-7 p.m. at the First Christian Church of Chico.
Along with the Camp Fire, the Woolsey Fire in California also continues to impact those in the state. It burned through more than 98,000 acres and is 69 percent contained as of Friday, according to CalFire.
In addition to the Woolsey Fire, the Hill Fire, located near the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks — the site of the tragic mass shooting — has burned through thousands of acres after erupting last Thursday. The blaze is now 100 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.