By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The death toll from California’s devastating Camp Fire rose to 88 on Monday with 203 residents still missing, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday
The death toll rose by one after a forensic lab discovered that remains presumed to be those of two people were actually those of three individuals. Only 16 people killed in the blaze have been positively identified and another 54 have been tentatively identified, Newsweek said.
No new victims were found on Monday, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, but the search for bodies continues. According to the Chronicle, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said he did not know when investigators would complete their search. The “high-probability areas” had already been scoured more than once, Honea noted.
Camp Fire Burned More than Two Weeks and Scorched More than 150,000 Acres
The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history burned for 17 days before being called fully contained on Sunday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced. The wildfire scorched 153,336 acres and destroyed 13,972 residences. In addition, 528 commercial buildings and 4,293 other structures were lost.
The town of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills was almost entirely wiped out by the Camp Fire. The town had a population of 26,218, according to the 2010 census. Many residents now must decide whether to rebuild or relocate permanently.
Three days of rain helped the firefighters contain the blaze. But the rain was “destructive to homes that have been scorched and may pose a danger to residents that return home,” The New York Times said.
In addition, officials are concerned that the rains could cause mudslides and further devastate the area.