After the flames, California recovery crews face grim search for victims

After the flames, California recovery crews face grim search for victims

Downed power lines and blown transformers have been blamed for several of the deadly fires that have burned around the state in recent years.

The fire in Northern California charred at least 195 square miles, but officials said crews were able to keep it from advancing toward Oroville, a town of about 19,000 people. Investigators are consulting forensic anthropologists for help in identifying the remains.

PG&E told state regulators last week that it experienced a problem on a transmission line in the area of the fire just before the blaze erupted.

The utility renewed its liability insurance coverage for wildfire events for an amount of approximately $1.4 billion that covers the period from August 1, 2018 through July 31, 2019, the company said in the SEC filing. But if its equipment is found to be responsible for it, PG&E "could be subject to significant liability in excess of insurance coverage" and that this could have "a material impact" on its financial results.

Another large blaze that's burning its way through Los Angeles County and Ventura County is the Woolsey Fire.

The fire has destroyed 435 structures, and crews are still battling flames amid red flag warnings.

Jeff Hill of Paradise, California, was checking on someone's house after the Camp Fire almost leveled the entire town, and what he found in the backyard startled him.

While the Peak Fire may have been contained, Southern California is still being burned by both the Woolsey Fire, which has burned over 96,000 acres, and the Hill Fire, which has burned 4,500 acres.

Megan James, of Newfoundland, Canada, searched via Twitter from the other side of the continent for information about her aunt and uncle, whose house in Paradise burned down and whose vehicles were still there.

Fire officials said they had success as the weather conditions that had made the fires so prone to spread eased somewhat, but that lingering swirling winds and the steep terrain where they are working present challenges.

Ernest Foss, a musician who once taught lessons, Carl Wiley, who refurbished tyres for Michelin, and Jesus Fernandez, known as Zeus, who was described as a loving father and loyal friend, were identified as being among 48 people who perished in the blaze. He doesn't know if they tried to leave or not but says the fire exploded so quickly that if they hesitated, they would have had trouble. Since it ignited, the fire has destroyed 6,453 residences and 260 commercial buildings.

Low humidity, warm Santa Ana winds, and dry ground after a rain-free month have produced a prime fire-spreading environment.

The fire west of Los Angeles that killed two people flared again before sunrise Wednesday but the flames are devouring vegetation in rugged, uninhabited mountains.

The National Weather Service office in Los Angeles said there were wind gusts Tuesday of up to 33 miles per hour in the fire areas.

The Woolsey Fire, which also began on Thursday, has razed 38,976 hectares and has been 35 per cent contained.

While prospects for suppressing the fire grew more hopeful, authorities stepped up the grim task of sifting through rubble of homes obliterated in wind-driven flames that roared through Paradise, sending residents fleeing for their lives. They haven't disclosed the total number still missing, but earlier in the week that figure was more than 200.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Monday that search teams were using "cadaver dogs" to look for fire victims and two temporary military morgues were being set up.

As authorities increased efforts, people waited for any word on those still not found.

Greg Gibson was at the message board on Tuesday, also trying to locate his neighbours, according to the Associate Press.



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