Catastrophic Northern California fire is finally contained - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Colossal California wildfire finally contained; grim search for bodies continues

Posted: Updated: Nov 25, 2018 11:36 AM
Noah Fisher looks over his home that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 22, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring over 150,000 acres, killed at least 85 Noah Fisher looks over his home that was destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 22, 2018 in Paradise, California. Fueled by high winds and low humidity the Camp Fire ripped through the town of Paradise charring over 150,000 acres, killed at least 85
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Fire-frazzled Northern California finally got some good news Sunday: An epic blaze that ravaged the countryside, killed dozens and wiped out thousands of homes was 100% contained.

The Camp Fire – the nation's deadliest in a century – was contained within 153,336 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The wildfire, which ignited in a rural area Nov. 8 before consuming the town of Paradise and roaring through nearby communities, has left a staggering toll. At least 85 people have been killed; 249 are still listed as missing. Nearly 19,000 buildings, most of them homes, have been destroyed.

Thousands of people packing emergency shelters, hotels and campsites have lives in limbo, uncertain whether they will have communities to return to. The blaze has destroyed more structures than the state's other seven worst wildfires combined.

Fire crews battling the blaze got a key boost last week in the form of the first winter storm to hit the state this year. About 7 inches of rain fell over the burn area for three days without causing major mudslides, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service.

The wet weather helped extinguish hot spots and enabled responders to ramp up the search for additional victims, particularly in Paradise, a retirement community with a population of 27,000.

On Sunday, crews continued sifting through muddy ash for human remains in and around the devastated town. Fire officials fear the death toll will climb as evacuees returning home find bodies in the singed-out shells of their homes.

Search crews have pressed on despite the grim task. "The guys will never say it's hard," crew member David Kang said. "But it is."

In Southern California, more residents returned to areas evacuated because of another wildfire as crews repaired power, telephone and gas utilities.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said they were in the last phase of repopulating Malibu and unincorporated areas of the county. At the height of the fire, 250,000 fled their homes.

Three people died, and 1,643 buildings, most of them homes, were destroyed, officials said.

Contributing: Kirk Bado, USA TODAY; the Associated Press

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