Officials battling a wildfire in Northern California, which has become the state’s deadliest so far, fear the death toll on Friday may increase further as at least 16 people are missing.
At least 15 people have been reported dead in California, Oregon and Washington as wildfires continue in all three states.
According to Kell Fire, the North Complex fire, as of this morning, has burned more than 244,000 acres near Oroville and contained only 23%. But officials say it is now moving more slowly on Friday as winds have relaxed and the smoke emanating from it has shaken the area and lowered temperatures, prompting firefighters to progress. Has helped.
Among those unaccounted for are Sandy Butler and her husband, who called their son to say they would try to escape the flames by finding shelter in the pond.
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“We are still hoping and wishing good news”, told the Associated Press, Jessica Fallon, who is Butler’s grandson with two children. “Everything has changed, but my grandparents do not live. I’d rather lose everything than those two. They kept the family together. ”
Fallon said she was ditching hospitals with phone calls in search of her grandparents, but none of them had a word until late Thursday.
On Thursday, Batte County Sheriff’s Capt. Derek Bell said the death toll from the fire at the North Complex rose to 10 and that four people have been hospitalized after severely scorching.
He said the depot and detectives are searching for human remains as they make their way to the devastated areas with a team of anthropologists from Chico State University.
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The fire has so far burned more than 2,000 homes and other buildings, which began several weeks ago as a lightning-spark collection of blazes north-east of San Francisco. The final toll is likely to be very high and the teams assessing the damage plan to begin a systematic search of the burnt areas on Friday.
White House spokesman Jude Deere said, President Trump expressed his condolences for the government’s loss and called for full support of the government to reiterate the administration’s full support.
Neighboring Oregon and Washington have also been engulfed by wildfires.
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More than 1,400 square miles have been burned this week in Oregon, where warm, windy conditions continue. Officials said more than 500,000 people – more than 10% of the state’s population – have been forced to evacuate.
Oregon officials have not issued an exact death count for the wildfire, but there have been at least four deaths in the state.
The Associated Press says officials there have been jolted by the simultaneous arson incident that stood as 37 on Thursday, according to the state Emergency Management Office.
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Gov. Kate Brown said more than 900,000 acres – more than the size of Rhode Island – burned in Oregon in a three-day stretch this week, nearly twice the area burned in a typical year.
One person died in a forest fire in Washington, which has spread over 937 square miles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.