By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The death toll has risen to 50 in two major wildfires - the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire - raging at opposite ends of California, CNN reports.
Fire investigators have found the human remains of six more individuals in Paradise, about 80 miles north of Sacramento. That brings the death toll from the Camp Fire to at least 48 people. Many more remain missing in the deadliest wildfire in California history.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said officials have requested 100 National Guard troops to help in the search for more human remains.
Camp Fire Causes Hasty Evacuations in Paradise
"The blaze, whose cause remains under investigation, swept through the foothill town of Paradise, laying waste to the community of 27,000," The Sacramento Bee reported. More than 5,600 personnel are fighting the Camp Fire.
“The fire moved so quickly, we had to evacuate the entire town (at once),” Paradise mayor Jody Jones told the Bee. Jones said that although Paradise residents had participated in several area evacuation drills, the town had never held a drill that involved the entire town at once.
So far, the Camp Fire has destroyed more than 7,600homes and 260 commercial buildings. It has burned 130,000 acres and as of Tuesday evening was only 35 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
Woolsey Fire Causes Two Deaths
The Woolsey fire, which encompasses parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, has claimed two lives. Two adults were found last week in their car, which was overtaken by flames. They have not been identified.
The Woolsey Fire is now one of the largest on record for Los Angeles County, dating back more than 100 years, ABC News said Wednesday.
According to CalFire, the blaze has consumed 97,620 acres and is 47% contained. It has destroyed at least 483 structures and damaged 86 others.
Decrease in Santa Ana Winds
Thousands more homes remain threatened. But the Santa Ana winds "were expected to decrease throughout the day, aiding in the firefight," ABC added.
"We are not out of the woods yet. We still have some incredibly tough conditions ahead of us," Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen cautioned.
Residents were allowed back into several communities on Tuesday, including a section of Malibu. However, tens of thousands of people remain under evacuation orders, down from a high of as many as 250,000.