Death Toll From California Wildfire Reaches 48 As Crews Search For More Bodies

fire fighters extinguishing fire
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As California’s most devastating fire rages on, it has been reported that 48 people have lost their lives so far as of Tuesday.

According to a report by the New York Post, more than 130,000 acres of land has been destroyed in Butte County’s Camp Fire by burning thousands of homes in the town of Paradise. On Tuesday, authorities found the remains of six more victims and according to Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, forensic teams with cadaver dogs are still searching for remains through the charred landscape in the town.

Per the report, Honea added that some 228 people are still missing, while more than 50,000 residents of the area are under evacuation orders. He added that around 15,000 structures are still threatened by the blaze.

“I’ll tell you, it’s very, very hard [to search for remains],” Honea told the Chico Enterprise-Record, per a separated report by the New York Post. “There is so much debris in some of these areas that it’s very difficult to determine whether or not there might be human remains there.”

In some areas, cadaver dogs couldn’t assist with the search operation because the ground was too hot for them to step on.

“In some cases, the fire burned so intensely that it burned everything to the ground, and in some cases, it melted the metal. In those cases, it is possible the temperatures were high enough to completely consume the body.”

The report detailed that 10 DNA lab trucks have been employed in the area by authorities to identify the victims. Furthermore, two teams of anthropologists from California State University, Chico, are also helping out to identify the victims in cases where only bone fragments were found.

The sheriff also added that those families who are searching to find their missing loved ones may be asked to provide a DNA sample so that the remains can be identified.

“What I will say is we are very early in our efforts,” Honea informed. “There is still a great deal of work to do.”

According to Cal Fire, the state’s wildlife-fighting agency, a total of 4,555 people are working “aggressively” to battle the Camp Fire, the report said. Also, as the Inquisitr earlier reported, at least five firefighters have also been injured as they continue to battle against the blaze.

The Camp Fire erupted on Thursday, November 8 and within three hours, it grew by 5,000 acres. Authorities said that high winds could only worsen the flames and the blaze isn’t expected to be contained until Nov. 30.