By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Local firefighting effort aids California crews

Authorities have reported 56 fatalities and three injuries from the blaze, according to information released Wednesday night by Cal Fire, making it the deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.

The dead have been found in burned out vehicles, in the smoldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could escape.

In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that coroner’s investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them. The search for bodies continues.

Authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and forensic anthropologists to help identify the dead.

A 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles killed 29 people, and a series of wildfires in Northern California’s wine country last fall killed 44 people. Yamhill County crews responded to those blazes.

The Camp Fire, which has burned through 138,000 acres, is 35 percent contained. About 8,700 residences and 260 commercial structures have been destroyed. There are about 15,500 structures threatened.

Close to 5,500 firefighters are working the blaze.

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire burns in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the Hill Fire in Ventura County.

The Woolsey Fire, which has burned through more about 98,000 acres, is 52 percent contained. Three deaths have been reported, all in Malibu. Five hundred structures have been destroyed and 57,000 are in danger.

Also burning in Ventura County is the Hill Fire - more than 4,500 acres burned - which is 96 percent contained.

Stock said if local crews are needed in the coming days, Yamhill County is ready to answer the call.

"We're open and prepared to assist further if need be," he said.

 

 

 

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