71 Dead, Over 1,000 Missing From California Camp Fire

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 17, 2018USshare

Officials in California said that 71 people have died from the raging Camp Fire and that more than 1,000 people are missing.

The flames have destroyed entire towns and consumed thousands of houses, prompting widespread evacuations amid the carnage.

The death toll was at 71 as of Nov. 16, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which also said that it had identified two sets of human remains as Paula Dodge, 70, and Randall Dodge, 67, both of Paradise.

Previously identified were Ernest Foss, 65, of Paradise; Jesus Fernandez, 48, of Concow, and Carl Wiley, 77, of Magalia.

The flames have consumed 148,000 acres and the fire is only 55 percent contained, Cal Fire said on Saturday. Approximately 12,200 buildings have been destroyed, as more than 5,600 fire personnel try to contain the fire.

The agency said crews made progress, implementing control lines in steep and rugged terrain, even as officials planned to send more fire engines and other resources ahead of projected high winds over the weekend.

Pregnant mother saved by doctor in Paradise
Patients are quickly evacuated from the Feather River Hospital as it burns down during the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, on Nov. 8, 2018. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

More Than 1,000 Missing as Trump to Visit

The number of missing people has steadily risen as evacuations sometimes turn chaotic, with traffic choking up and leaving people to flee on foot.

Authorities said they’re trying to locate 1,011 people, although some of them may have been listed twice by mistake or already been found.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called the list dynamic and said it will fluctuate.

“It’s a disheartening situation,” she told reporters on Friday. “As much as I wish we could get through this before the rains come, I don’t know if that’s possible.”

Trump and California Gov. Jerry Brown have clashed before, but they both said they would work together on the deadly wildfires.

“Now is the time to pull together for the people of California,” Brown said on Twitter on Friday.

Trump responded, saying: “Thank you, Jerry Brown. Looking forward to joining you and Gavin Newsom tomorrow in California. We are with you!”

Newsom is the governor-elect. Trump’s itinerary wasn’t immediately available, but he departed Washington early Saturday.

California Wildfire
Firefighter Jose Corona monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire burns in Magalia, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Noah Berger/AP Photo)


The town of Paradise was nearly completely destroyed. People who fled have to decide what to do next.

Some are thinking of rebuilding, but 56-year-old Kathleen Reed is not.

“I love Paradise. I don’t ever want to put my kids in the position again where they have to run away from a wildfire,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s just not safe to build in the forest anymore. It’s the new normal.”

Tim Bolin, the executive pastor of Paradise Alliance Church, said that his house and church were two of the few buildings that survived but all of his children’s homes were destroyed. They’re going to set up trailers and try to figure out what’s next.

“Paradise is gone. When I drove through it, it’s gone,” he said. “But the sense is we’re going to rebuild.”

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.