California fires: Authorities, relatives step up search for more than 100 missing

Gerard Butler,Kim Kardashian,Robin Thicke

The Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise Thursday, tied the 1933 Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles for the deadliest fire in California history when the death toll reached 29.

Search teams in Butte County have recovered the remains of 29 people; majority were found inside burned-out homes in and around the town of Paradise, or in cars that were overwhelmed by fire as locals desperately tried to outrun the fast-moving flames.

Several of the bodies discovered earlier this week were found in or near burned out cars, police have said. With more than 200 people still unaccounted for, families who are desperate for answers are posting pictures of their loved ones online and on message boards at shelters.

Some 4,500 firefighters from as far as Washington and Texas have been working to halt the advance of the inferno as "mass casualty" search teams backed by anthropologists and a DNA lab pick through the charred ruins to identify remains - sometimes reduced to no more than shards of bone.

Almost 9,000 firefighters, many from out of state, were battling to suppress the Camp Fire, the Woolsey Fire and a handful of smaller Southern California blazes, backed by squadrons of water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers.

The Woolsey fire doubled in size from Friday night into Sunday, threatening thousands of homes after triggering mandatory evacuation orders for a quarter of a million people in the upscale Malibu beach colony, as well as other communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

"As we drove to safety, they risked their lives trying to save our home", Thicke said. Two people were killed in a wildfire in Southern California.

"I am one of the lucky ones", she added.

Brown asked Trump on Sunday to declare the fires a major disaster, a move that would allow more federal resources to flow to California to help with relief and recovery.

Two people have been found dead as a pair of wildfires stretched from inland canyons to the Pacific in southern California, leaving people sifting through the remains of their homes for anything they had left.

While firefighters made headway on containing the fires Saturday, the return of powerful winds a day later threatened that progress, particularly for the Woolsey Fire in Southern California.

'My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong.

Young wrote on his website that California was "up against something bigger than we have ever seen".

Celebrities including Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano fled their houses over the weekend to escape the unprecedented winds. It has destroyed an estimated 6,700 buildings, most of which were homes.

After blaming the fires on poor management, President Trump did offer his condolences to the victims Sunday.

California emerged from a five-year statewide drought last year but has had a very dry 2018, pushing parts of the state back into drought and leaving others, like the area of the northern California fire, abnormally dry.

Woodcox said he was too exhausted to talk more by phone.

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