A massive blaze that ravaged the wooded town of Paradise in northern California became the deadliest wildfire in the state’s modern history with the number of persons killed rose to 42 on Monday,
Officials said, “remains of 13 more people were discovered, bringing the death toll to 42.”
Firefighters were digging battle lines to contain the “Camp Fire” in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Sacramento, while search teams were on a grim mission to recover the dead.
Fires thrashed by strong winds were raging through thousands of acres of forests and chaparral in both Northern and Southern California on Monday, having sent a quarter of a million people fleeing their homes across the tinder-dry state.
As the search for victims dragged on, friends and relatives of the missing called hospitals, police, shelters and the coroner’s office in hopes of learning about their loved ones.
More than 5,000 firefighters statewide were battling wildfires that destroyed more than 7,000 structures and scorched more than 325 square miles.
US President Donald Trump “declared the fires in the state of California a major disaster making people affected eligible for various types of federal government support,” the White House said in a statement.