The town of Paradise in Butte County has been virtually reduced to ashes by what’s called the Camp Fire. At least 31 people have died there, making it the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history in over 85 years. Five victims perished on a single street in Paradise, trapped in vehicles as they tried to escape the blaze, officials said. More than 200 people are unaccounted for. Firefighters were still trying to contain the roaring blaze, which broke out Thursday.
With the discovery of 14 more bodies on Saturday, the Camp Fire surpassed the death toll in last year’s Tubbs Fire which killed 22 people and was the third-deadliest fire in the state’s history until now. The deadliest, the Griffith Park Fire in 1933, killed 29 people.
An estimated 2,000 structures have been leveled, Cal Fire said Friday morning, many of them homes. With five fatalities confirmed Friday by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, the Camp Fire is already one of the 20 deadliest fires on record in California history.
In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire was raging in parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including in Thousands Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people at a bar on Wednesday, and in celebrity-studded Malibu. More than 150,000 residents were under mandatory evacuation orders. The fire, which killed at least two people, has consumed over 85,000 acres and was only 15 percent contained as of the latest official report.