BUTTE COUNTY, CA — The most destructive wildfire in California’s history has been fully contained as of Sunday morning, Cal Fire said. The Camp Fire in Butte County burned over 153,000 acres, destroyed thousands of homes and left 85 people dead.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said on Saturday that 249 people still remain unaccounted for in the fire and search efforts are continuing. The wind-whipped wildfire sparked Nov. 8 off Camp Creek and Pulga roads near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon, according to Cal Fire. The rapidly-spreading blaze ripped through the small town of Paradise and surrounding communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Butte County. The 100 percent containment was established over two weeks after the fire started.
The blaze destroyed nearly 20,000 structures, most of which were residences, according to the latest figures from CalFire. Some evacuations have been lifted, however a number of evaucation orders remain in place as of Sunday morning. Shelters established for evacuated residents are being consolidated and all shelters are being transitioned into either Glenn County Fairgrounds or the Butte County Fairgrounds. (You can find more information on the shelter transition here.)
The firefight got a boost last week from the first significant winter storm to hit California. It dropped an estimated 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain over the burn area over a three-day period without causing significant mudslides, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service.
Sheriff’s officials advised residents returning to their homes to be aware the areas have very limited resources. Residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they have food, water and fuel for their vehicles prior to returning home.
Two disaster recovery centers have opened to help residents. One locations is at the former Sears store at the Chico Mall at 1982 E. 20th St. in Chico. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
A second center is openat 2140 Feather River Blvd. in Oroville. The center is also open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Impacted residents and businesses can register online for disaster assistance. Residents can also register with FEMA by calling by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362).
For more information on recovery, residents can visit the official Camp Fire response and recovery website.
Reporting from The Associated Press was used in this story. Kristina Houck contributed to this report.
Photo: Search team members move sheet metal to allow cadaver dogs to search beneath them for signs of human remains at a mobile home park in Paradise, Calif., Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. They said the mobile home park had already been hand searched, so they were re-examining it with search dogs. Photo by Kathleen Ronayne/Associated Press
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