California fire death toll rises to 23

Geraldine Edwards
November 11, 2018

Strong winds, low humidity, drought and vegetation so dry as to act as matchsticks exacerbated the flames.

When people are fighting for their homes and running for their lives, this is not the time to threaten to withhold federal funds. Entire towns have been burned to the ground.

The Camp Fire blaze erupted Thursday.

Several of the victims discovered earlier this week were found in or near burned out cars, police have said. "2207520000.1541887572./1202113766605566/?type=3&theater">according to the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

Honea said that a total of 23 people had died in the fire near the town of Paradise, about 290km northeast of San Francisco.

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He praised the murdered officer, a close friend, as a hero, saying: "He went in there to save people and paid the ultimate price". Ron Helus , who tragically lost his life after heroically running towards the gunfire to save others. "He was totally committed".

Some people, attempting to flee the fire, were stuck in traffic and left their cars behind to run with their families. It was still burning in Paradise, and authorities estimated the fire may be fully contained by November 30. But according to CAL Fire, there have been many residents and firefighters injured. Authorities expect that strong northeastern winds will start up again in the evening, potentially spreading across one of California's biggest lakes into the city of Oroville.

More than 3,200 personnel are involved in the firefighting effort. "It's a very unsafe and very serious situation", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.

At least 150 houses were destroyed in the county, and more than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

Crews were battling extreme flames on steep terrain. The blaze was only about 5 percent contained and was threatening another 15,000 structures.

The "Woolsey Fire" had consumed around 69,000 acres, destroyed at least 150 homes and was so far not contained, the Ventura County Fire Department said, adding that evacuation orders were issued for some 88,000 homes in the county and neighboring Los Angeles County.

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According to the Butte County Sheriff's department, 508 calls requesting the department to check on people who were missing have been initially received. It traveled into an old burn scar, where a previous fire had passed years ago.

Lady Gaga, Alyssa Milano and Kim Kardashian West were among the California residents who had to flee their homes. It was not immediately clear if any of the missing were among those found dead. All we can do is pray together & for each other.

Trump, who was in France for World War I commemorations, drew criticism online for his somewhat unsympathetic reaction to the devastation earlier on Saturday. The Hill Fire was 25% contained.

"This is just a lull", Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said, "so we're going to take advantage of that and try to get as much line perimeter in as we can with the expectation that we will get more winds tomorrow".

Cher wrote on Twitter that she was anxious about her house "but there is nothing I can do".

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"Heavenly father, please help us, please help us to be safe", Chatfield says in footage obtained by the Daily Mail, her voice cracking as flames lick the pavement and smoke obscures the roadway ahead.

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