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Death toll from northern California wildfire increases to 42

13.11.2018, 21:20 3190
The death toll from the raging Camp Fire in the U.S. state of California has increased to 42, making it the deadliest in the state's history, local authorities said Monday, Xinhua reported.

An additional 13 bodies were discovered Monday in Northern California, said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea. The dead were so badly burned that authorities brought in a mobile DNA lab and asked forensic anthropologists to help identify them.

Honea said more than 200 people remain missing in and around the town of Paradise.

Xinhua reporters found their way to Paradise was blocked 56 km away from the town. The air was full of dust. Fire trucks were driving through the roads to contain the fire.

A firefighter from Oregon told Xinhua his team was deployed to Paradise to assist firefight from last Friday, working around the clock.

On a small slop in Butt County, four firefighters were observing the development of fire on the mountain. They took shifts every 24 fours. A firefighter told Xinhua they would assist other colleagues on fire control if they got notice.

He said winds would be dying down Monday while humidity began to rise, which would help the firefighters.

The fire, which decimated the town, has burned 117,000 acres (47,348 hectares) and is now about 30 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

The increased death toll of Camp Fire brought the statewide toll to 44.

The Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles warned Chinese citizens to follow the latest development of the wildfire, and avoid heading for restricted areas, and enhance security awareness to ensure safety.

The Consulate General has launched an emergency response mechanism, and helped Chinese students in Pepperdine University, which is located in the fire-damaged town of Malibu, to evacuate to a safe place.

The Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire in Southern California also continued to destroy homes.

In Agoura Hills, a town in Los Angeles County, firefighters were checking from door to door any sign of flames, to make sure the fire won't reignite.

Tod Kaufman, a firefighter of Los Angeles County Fire Department, told Xinhua all of the residents were evacuated. They were sweeping houses and cars to figure out damage.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) crews are making assessments in areas determined safe by first responders, to search for gas leaks caused by the fire.

The Woolsey Fire, which has claimed two lives and burned more than 90,000 acres (36,421 hectares), was 30 percent contained by Monday evening.

The Hill Fire, which ignited around the same time on Thursday afternoon not far from the Woolsey Fire, was 85 percent contained by Monday, having already scorched 4,531 acres (1,834 hectares) and destroyed two structures.

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