California wildfire becomes deadliest in state′s history | News | DW | 13.11.2018
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California wildfire becomes deadliest in state's history

With the death toll rising to 42, the devastating "Camp Fire" raging in northern California has become the deadliest in the state's history. The blaze has leveled thousands of homes with crews still battling the flames.

The "Camp Fire" in northern California is now the deadliest wildfire in the US state's history, local authorities said on Monday, after recovering more human remains.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a press conference that the remains of 42 people have been uncovered so far — with only three of the victims identified as yet.

Honea said authorities are bringing in further resources to set up a DNA system and more quickly identify the bodies.

Firefighters are still battling to control the fire four days after it broke out, with hundreds of people still missing.

The Camp Fire is also ranked as the most destructive wildfire in California in terms of property losses, after leveling over 7,100 homes and buildings since it began last Thursday. Another 15,000 structures are still listed as threatened.

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The blaze devastated the town of Paradise, California, where the fire reduced houses to ash and rubble shortly after the blaze broke out. In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone remaining.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Trump approves disaster declaration

Authorities said another two people were killed in a separate blaze in southern California, called the "Woolsey Fire." The fire west of Los Angeles has destroyed 370 homes and caused 200,000 people to evacuate.

US President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for California, writing on Twitter that he "wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on."

Trump previously blamed "poor" forest management for the fires, and threatened to withhold federal funds.

California Governor Jerry Brown requested the declaration, which makes victims eligible for crisis counseling, legal aid, as well as housing and unemployment help.

rs/ rc  (Reuters, dpa, AP)

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