Catastrophic Northern California fire is finally contained

Catastrophic Northern California fire is finally contained

After a brief delay to let a downpour pass, volunteers resume their search for human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, Calif.

Only on Sunday did authorities announce that the fire was 100 percent contained, thanks to some heavy rain during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, although they stressed that it would be months before firefighters would be able to completely extinguish it. He said while the rain helped douse some of the fire and made things easier for the dogs searching for bodies, it also complicated search efforts.

A downpour has turned the ash from a devastating California wildfire into paste, making it hard for volunteers to find fragments of bone and forcing them to stop their search for human remains. It dropped an estimated 7 inches of rain over the burn area over a three-day period without causing significant mudslides, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service.

"The fear is that the rain will drop in intense bursts", meteorologist Brian Hurley said.

With the help of steady rain, firefighters have almost contained the devastating Camp Fire blaze that's killed 84 and destroyed thousands of homes in Northern California, but responders are still searching for hundreds of missing people and struggling to identify remains amid muddy ash and falling trees.

The fire was contained after 85 civilians died and almost 14,000 homes were destroyed.




"All the vegetation has burned away, and that's a risky recipe for mudslides", Hurley said.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has warned that remains of some victims may never be found.

The fire was fully contained last Wednesday after burning for two weeks.

Officials said most of the victims of the fire identified so far have been of retirement age.

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

The Camp Fire was the second major blaze to hit California in recent weeks with a fire in the Malibu area near Los Angeles also killing three people. At the height of the fire, 250,000 fled their homes. The number was revised down from 475 as people who were believed missing were found in shelters, staying in hotels or with friends, officials said, adding that many had not known they were on the list.

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