With steady rains putting out the deadliest and most destructive fire in California’s history this week, it’s a bittersweet ending to the 153,336 acre fire that continues to cause a major humanitarian crisis in Butte County.
475 people are still missing as officials continue to search the charred Camp Fire rubble in Paradise, Concow and Magalia in search of the remains of victims. The current death toll sits at 84 people with the fire destroying nearly 19,000 total structures.
The exhausted firefighters were relieved to see the rain that extinguished the fire this week. In an ironic ending to the worst fire season on record in California, Mother Nature extinguished devastating 2018 flames that left many Northern California residents homeless, injured or dead.
“The fire is out,” said Stephen Horner, a Camp Fire public information officer. Amidst the rain, firefighters began packing up their equipment in hopes of returning home:
Meanwhile, officials lifted some evacuation zones that have been deemed safe to the public. On Saturday, Berry Creek Zone B and Cherokee Zone B evacuations were lifted, although much of the area still remains under evacuation due to dangers like weak trees, power lines and other hazards pose serious risk to anyone who enters the area.
The search for the remains of people missing in the fire continues to cause anxiety with officials and residents. Many of the missing may never be found as their remains could have been fully cremated in the flames. With the rains coming into Paradise for the week, the dampened rubble could make the search that much more difficult. While the death toll is expected to continue to grow, officials hope many of the missing made it out alive.
#paradise on Thanksgiving Eve. Quiet and wet. The acrid odor of smoke is throat scratching, lingering in the air. Crews are repairing utility lines, still searching for victims. pic.twitter.com/MeAqIYq3Yr
— Ron Lin (@ronlin) November 21, 2018
While the fire is out, the Camp Fire crisis will be felt for years to come. A sad ending to a devastating fire season in Northern California.