Officials are still tallying losses and combating both growing and receding fires as several large blazes rage across California. Meanwhile, a list of missing persons in Butte County is now seven pages long, totally some 300 names.
At least 56 people have died in the Camp Fire — the deadliest wildfire in state history and among its most destructive. The fire has torn through the northern town of Paradise, laying waste to some 138,000 acres (215 square miles)
Three people have died in the Woolsey Fire, which is now more than half contained, according to officials.
The fire is at 35 percent containment a week after it started. Since Nov. 8, it has killed 56 and destroyed 8,650 homes.
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters are working with ground crews to slow down the fire’s progress.
“Firefighters have been working diligently to attack the fire through direct and indirect methods,” authorities said. Containment lines are strengthening and improving, they say.
More than 5,400 personnel are working to combat the fire, and 620 engines, 24 helicopters and “numerous” firefighting air tankers have been deployed.
Authorities say they expect full containment by Nov. 30 — two weeks from now.
Paradise was a quiet town of about 26,000 residents, located in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Now, it is largely a wasteland of burned out rubble and charred vehicles.
As NPR reported Wednesday, “The grim search for human remains in still-smoldering rubble has been aided by the arrival of almost 300 search and rescue personnel, including 50 National Guard troops.”
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has produced an online structure status map of Paradise and its surrounding areas. Residents can check the status of their homes and view photos of any damage, without putting themselves at risk by entering active fire zones.
The fire about 500 miles to the south of Camp Fire affects parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties and has killed at least three people.
At 98,362 acres (154 square miles), the Woolsey Fire is just over half contained, authorities said in a news release Wednesday evening.
The fire, which started one week ago, is expected to be fully contained by Monday.
It has destroyed 504 structures and 57,000 others are threatened.
Winds are expected to come down, so firefighters “will pursue opportunities to build and improve direct line to minimize further perimeter growth and support containment objectives,” authorities said. “Fire suppression repair teams are actively engaged working around the fire perimeter and affected areas.”
Nearly 3,700 personnel and more than 575 fire engines are working to combat the flames.
Portions of Malibu and Calabasas have been repopulated, as well as the entire communities of Monte Nido, Malibu Lake and Topanga.
Currently at 4,531 acres, the fire is 96 percent contained.
“Fire crews continue to mop up and patrol the fire perimeter. For tonight, winds are expected to be weak with northeasterly winds across the ridges and drainage winds at lower elevations,” authorities said in a news release Wednesday evening.
Fire suppression teams continue to work around the fire perimeter and affected areas. A total of 40 personnel are at work.
Just two buildings have been destroyed. Authorities say they expect full containment by Friday.