• Camron Davis

California Fires lead to over 600 missing people

As the most devastating fires in Californian history finally begin to calm, fire officials are now beginning to search for the people who have gone missing during the catastrophe.

According to USA Today, "The fire has destroyed nearly 12,000 homes and businesses destroyed, of which 9,700 are single-family homes."

Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea, announced Thursday night the addition of seven more fatalities, bringing the total death toll up to 63 people, along with 631 missing. Honea remains optimistic as he believes that "a lot of people don't know we are looking for them."

Cal Fire also said Thursday, November 15 that the fires have reached 40 percent containment, spanning over 141,000 acres of land, which is up 30 percent since Wednesday.

53 of the 63 recovered bodies have been identified through DNA.

USA Today reported that "Of the 63 fatalities, only three have been publicly identified: 73-year-old Carl Wiley, of Magalia; 48-year-old Jesus Fernandez, of Concow; and 65-year-old Ernest Foss, of Paradise."

USA Today said, "Fire officials, who fear the death toll could climb as evacuees return to find bodies in the singed-out shells of their homes, have begun a somber task: More than 450 searchers, many with cadaver dogs, are sifting through debris for remains in Paradise and outlying areas."

Cal Fire confirmed that The Woolsey Fire, which is west of Los Angeles, is 62 percent contained after destroying over 500 structures and killing at least three people.

Johnny Pohmagevich, an 18-year Magalia resident who lives near many burned homes, said that "If this town does recover, it’s going to take many, many years."