The death toll from California’s fires has risen to 50, with thousands of homes destroyed in Malibu and Northern California

  • The death toll from the California wildfires had risen to 50. On Tuesday, six more bodies were recovered.
  • The Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed at least 48 people, making it the deadliest fire in the state’s history. Authorities said it was 35% contained on Wednesday morning.
  • The Woolsey Fire on the outskirts of LA has burned more than 150 square miles, and is just shy of 50% contained.
  • The flames are being fueled by dry, hot conditions and strong winds.
  • California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that officials there say there’s almost no need for the term “wildfire season” anymore.

California’s Camp Fire is now the deadliest wildfire the state has ever seen.

On Tuesday evening, the Butte County Sheriff’s office announced that six more bodies had been found, bringing the fire’s death toll to 48. Hundreds of people are still missing; the sheriff’s office has released a partial list of 100 names, but there are certainly more.

The fire, which continues to rage across Butte County, less than 100 miles north of Sacramento, is now roughly one-third contained. So far, it has scorched 210 square miles of land, an area nearly the size of Chicago.

Coroner search teams are going house to house (or rather, from plot to plot) in the burned-down town of Paradise to search for victims. Abandoned cars in driveways can be a tell-tale sign that residents might not have escaped in time. Sifting through the ashes, the teams sometimes only recover a few remains of a fire victim to put in a body bag.

“The long bag looks almost empty as it’s carefully carried out of the ruins and placed in a black hearse,” Gillian Flaccus with the Associated Press reported from Paradise on Monday night.

The other dangerous wildfire raging in California, the Woolsey Fire, has burned 150 square miles in the hills around Los Angeles. Two people were killed in the Woolsey fire on Friday, bringing the statewide death total to 50.