According to the Associated Press, in addition to the deaths, 16 people are missing. Sandy Butler and her husband, who said they would try to take shelter in a pond to escape the explosion, are unaccounted for.
“We’re still hoping and praying for good news,” Jessica Fallon, Butlers’ mother of two grandchildren, told AP. “Everything has changed, but my grandparents do not live. I’d rather lose everything than those two. They kept the family together. ”
The crew consisted of about half the fire, which continued to burn for weeks, before the winds overtook it on Tuesday. Thousands of buildings have been destroyed in a fire located about 125 miles northeast of San Francisco.
This week, winds will likely decrease, forecasters said, and the density of smoke has reduced temperatures in the region to some extent. According to the AP, more than 48,000 square miles have been burned in 2020.
This explosion, known as the North Complex Fire, is the 10th highest record thus far. On Thursday, authorities removed an evacuation warning for the city of heaven, where a 2018 fire destroyed 19,000 buildings and killed more than 80 people.
In total, 29 wildfires are burning across the state, from the California-Oregon border to the far south of the state.
Butte County spokesman Amy Travis said the coronovirus epidemic also complicated the fire’s response.
According to AP, “COVID has changed the way we shelter.” “We don’t have a lot of hotel rooms here in Battee County, and a lot of them are definitely busy with people who have already arranged their hotels for evacuation.”