The deadliest fire in California’s history continues to burn uncontained as recovery teams find more and more bodies. With 63 victims confirmed so far, the local sheriff says there are over 600 reports of missing persons.
The towns of Paradise and Butte were all but leveled in the blaze, which engulfed 8,700 homes and spread across over 140,000 acres. California governor Jerry Brown described the scene as a “war zone.”
The fire began last Thursday and is still only 40 percent contained, as tens of thousands of people remain under evacuation orders. The blaze spread extremely quickly due to low humidity and high winds, at some stages engulfing the area of a football field every three seconds.
Butte County sheriffs have begun collecting the DNA of relatives of the missing in the hope of identifying their remains amidst the charred hellscape.
California energy utility PG&E said its equipment may have sparked the fire, and a group of lawyers representing victims of the blaze has filed a lawsuit against the company on Wednesday, alleging it failed to properly maintain, replace and repair its equipment.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW