The number of dead in a wildfire raging in California rose to 29, matching the deadliest in the state’s history as recovery teams found six more bodies in the grim search through the wreckage.
The “Camp Fire” in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is the largest and most destructive of several infernos that have sent 250,000 people fleeing their homes across the tinder-dry state, razing 6,400 homes in the town of Paradise and effectively wiping it off the map.
“Today, an additional six human remains were recovered, which brings our current total to 29,” Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference at the end of the fourth day in the struggle to contain the blaze, adding that all were found in Paradise. In fire zones in north and south California where a total of at least 31 people have died acid smoke blanketed the sky for miles, the sun barely visible.
On the ground, cars caught in the flames were reduced to mangled metal carcasses, while power lines were gnawed by the flames. An AFP journalist saw recovery team workers discover, bag and drive away two bodies in the Paradise area, and the death toll looked set to rise further with scores more people still unaccounted for.