A hundred members of this military corps will be deployed in the next few hours to help look for more victims of forest fires, which already total 50 dead.
he troops of the US National Guard would arrive on Wednesday to help to search for more victims among the charred ruins and covered with ash from the town of Paradise , in northern California , ravaged by the most deadly and destructive wildfire in state history .
Around 100 military police officers trained to search and identify human remains , will reinforce the recovery teams led by forensic doctors , sniffer dogs and forensic anthropologists who already walk the ghostly scene of the fire ‘Camp Fire’, which has caused the death of at least 48 people .
The careful search focuses on what little remains of Paradise, a town in Butte County, California, about 280 miles north of San Francisco, which was overrun by flames and was largely burned last Thursday.
The deadly fire, fueled by a thicket that is thick and dry from drought and fanned by fierce winds, culminated a catastrophic wildfire season in California that experts attribute largely to the prolonged dry periods that they say are a symptom of the change climate.
The ‘Camp Fire’ fire in Butte County coincided with another flurry of flames in Southern California, the ‘Woolsey’ fire, which killed two people, destroyed more than 400 structures and displaced some 200,000 people near the coast of Malibu, west of Los Angeles.
However, two utilities, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, reported to regulators that they had problems with transmission lines or substations in areas near the time the flames were reported to have started.
Late on Tuesday, diminishing winds and rising levels of humidity allowed fire crews to trace the containment lines around more than a third of both fires, further alleviating the immediate threat to life and property.
US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and California Governor Jerry Brown were scheduled to visit areas designated by President Donald Trump as disaster areas on Wednesday, making federal emergency assistance more available .
RECOGNITION OF VICTIMS, A CHALLENGE
Although the prospects of extinguishing the flames improved, the authorities continued with the task of accounting for the disappeared.
The count of 48 fatal victims already far exceeds the previous record of the largest loss of life in a single fire in the history of California: 29 people died from the fire of Griffith Park in Los Angeles in 1933.
Butte Sheriff Kory Honea said that in some cases the victims are burned beyond the possibility of recognition, and even the use of fingerprints. In some cases, dental records will be needed, but “may not be available if the dentist’s office caught fire.”
We are finding remains in various conditions, “he told reporters.
People have suffered severe burns. I suppose some of them have been consumed, “added Honea, who said that it was possible that some remains could appear only once residents with intact houses can return.Butte Sheriff Kory Honea
More than 50,000 remained under evacuation orders.
The wind-driven flames roared through Paradise so quickly that residents were forced to flee to save their lives with little or no warning.
Victims’ bodies were found in and around the burned remains of vehicles engulfed in the firestorm.
Until Tuesday night, the ‘Camp Fire’ fire had consumed 52,600 hectares, while the Woolsey fire burned 39,000 hectares.