California wildfires death toll jumps to 79, more than still 1 000 missing

California wildfires death toll jumps to 79, more than still 1 000 missing

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The death toll from the Camp Fire in California's Butte County jumped to 76 on November 18, 2018. 3 people were killed in Woolsey Fire, raising the death toll from current wildfires in the state to 79.

The Camp Fire has so far burned 60 000 hectares (148 000 acres) and is 55% contained as of 07:08 PST, November 17 (15:08 UTC). A total of 12 256 structures were destroyed; 9 844 residences, 336 commercial and 2 076 other buildings.

The death toll rose to 76 early November 18 and is expected to rise. The number of people reported missing soared to 1 011.

This is by far the most destructive and deadliest individual wildfire in the history of the state of California.

Image credit: CalFire

Firefighters continued to battle moderate fire behavior overnight due to critically dry fuels and gusty canyon winds. Direct and indirect control lines continue to be implemented and secured with back-firing operations as conditions allow.

Throughout the day firefighters will work to strengthen containment lines while also preparing for projected increased winds and a Red Flag Warning this weekend. Work continues in the interior areas of the fire area extinguishing hot spots and removing the many hazards that still exist.

Satellite image acquired November 16, 2018. Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties has so far burned 40 000 hectares (98 362 acres) of land and is 82% contained. The fire has so far claimed the lives of 3 people and destroyed 836 buildings.

Air quality in Northern California has become the worst in the world due to wildfires, air quality network Purple Air said. Health officials warned everyone to stay indoors rather than risk the smoke as everyone in the area could experience serious health effects.

"Wearing a mask may encourage outdoor activity when staying indoors is the best way to minimize exposure to smoke," the Sacramento County Public Health Office said.

Featured image credit: Mercury News

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