Death Toll In California Wildfires Climbs To At Least 31

At least 31 people died in California in the three fires that ravage the state.

The authorities report that 228 people are missing, including at least 100 in the city of Paradise, located in northern California.

In this locality of some 27,000 inhabitants, largely ravaged by flames, rescue teams continue to search the ruins for bodies.

The authorities hope that the missing are safe, but unable to reach their relatives.

Late Sunday night, the death toll in the north of the state rose suddenly to 29 dead, by the discovery of six corpses.

Two more people died in the south of the state, in Malibu, in a smaller fire.

The worst coming

Authorities predict that the fires could take even more strength because of winds that have resumed in force throughout California.

“We will see sustained winds of up to 64 km / h and gusts between 97 km / h and 113 km / h,” said meteorologist Marc Chenard of the National Weather Prediction Center earlier this day. Los Angeles area.

In this region, the Woolsey fire left two dead, ravaged 150 homes since Thursday afternoon, and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, including Malibu.

According to the meteorologist, the air masses blowing in the deserts of the western United States to the coast should bring strong winds at least until Tuesday.

Further north, winds of 64 km / h are expected to blow in the Sierra Nevada near Sacramento, where the Camp Fire has destroyed more than 6,700 buildings and forced citizens to flee quickly. Caught in traffic, many have abandoned their vehicle to escape on foot, while they were surrounded by flames.

The 300,000 people who have been evacuated from their homes throughout California will have to wait several more days before returning to their homes.

Camp Fire has so far burned nearly 42,500 hectares of forest. It is under control at 20%, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

More than 3000 firefighters have been deployed to fight it. Three of them were injured.

The cause of the fire has not been officially identified. According to the Sacramento Bee newspaper , local power officials told the California authorities that a breakdown had occurred near where it started.

The Woolsey fire covers over 33,000 hectares of forest and is controlled by only 5%.

As for the nearby Hill fire, north of Malibu, there were no casualties and spread over 1,800 hectares. The fire was under control at 65% Saturday.

The majority of California has not received rain for over a month and dry vegetation is an ideal fuel for devastating blazes. The authorities estimate that in the north, flame control may take up to three weeks.

Trump criticizes California

Given the gravity of the situation, President Donald Trump issued a declaration of urgency that will allow counties of Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles to get help from the federal government.

He then threatened not to give money to California, claiming that forest management is “so bad” and saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris to avoid feeding the trees. fires declared there.

State officials blamed climate change and pointed out that many of the burned areas are on federally managed land.

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