Saturday , April 17 2021

California Wildfire Massive Toll: 63 dead, 631 missing so far



CHICO, California – At least 63 people are now killed by a California-led fire and officials say they have a list of missing people with 631 names in a constantly evolving environment of victims of the country's deadliest fire in a century .

The large number of missing persons probably includes some who fled the fire and did not realize that they were missing, said Butte County, Kory Honea. He said he is publishing the list so that people can see if they are in it and let the authorities know they have survived.

"The chaos we deal with was extraordinary," said Honea from the first hours of crisis last week. "We are now trying to return and make sure we are responsible for all."

About 52,000 people were displaced to refuges, houses of friends and relatives, motels and a Walmart parking lot and an adjacent field in Chico, tens of miles from ash.

In the immense sheltered parking lot, take advantage of California's hottest fire marathon if you still have houses, if your neighbors are still alive and where they will go when your place of refuge is shut down in a matter of days.

"It's cold and scary," said Lilly Batres, 13, one of the few children who fled with his family from the wooded city of Magalia and did not know if his house survived. "I feel that people will enter our tent."

The North California fire that started a week before eliminated the city of Paradise. Search engines have taken the bodies of incinerated houses and incinerated cars, but in many cases, victims can be reduced to pieces of bones and ashes. The last toll: 63 dead and 9,800 houses destroyed.

At the other end of the state, more neighbors were allowed to return to the area of ​​a fire that burned an area of ​​Denver's size west of Los Angeles. The fire was 62 percent contained after destroying about 550 homes and other buildings. There have been at least three deaths.

The quality of the air through the great sagas of California remains so poor due to large smoke pens that schools in Sacramento and the Pacific Coast closed on Friday and the emblematic funiculars of San Francisco were taken to the streets.

Camp North California Fire was 40 percent on Thursday, but there was no time line to allow evacuees to return because of the danger. The power lines are still down, roads closed and firefighters are still weighing embers, authorities said.

Anna Goodnight of Paradise tried to make the most of her, sitting in a shopping cart demolished in the parking lot and eating scrambled eggs and tasting them all while her husband drank Budweiser.

But then William Goodnight began to cry.

"We're grateful. We're better than some. Keeping him clinging to her," he said, gesturing toward his wife. "I'm just breaking it, finally."

More than 75 stores have been appearing in space since Matthew Flanagan arrived last Friday.

"We call it Wally World," said Flanagan, a riff out of the store name. "When I arrived here, there was nobody here. And now it got worse, worse still. There are more evacuees, more people are left without money for hotels."

The word began to spread on Thursday that efforts were being made to eliminate the camp on Sunday, gradually eliminating clothing, food and baths donated.

"The ultimate goal is to take these people out of the shops, get out of their cars and enter a warm shelter, for the houses," said Jessica Busick, who was among the first volunteers when she and her husband started serving free food from their truck Truckaroni food last week. "We always knew that this is not a long-term solution."

Sunday closure "gives us enough time to figure out something," said Mike Robertson, an evacuator who arrived on Monday with his wife and two daughters.

It is not clear what will be done if people do not leave Sunday, but the municipal authorities do not plan to expel them, said Betsy Totten, spokesman for Chico. Totten said volunteers – not the city – decided to close the camp.

Walmart added security to the situation and worries security there, but it is not asking people to leave, said LeMia Jenkins spokesman.

Some, like the Batres family, arrived after spending money for a hotel. Others could not find a room or were not allowed to stay in shelters with their dogs, or in the case of Suzanne Kaksonen, their two cacatuas.

Kaksonen said that he has been feeling forever since he was there.

"I just want to go home," he said. "I do not care if there is not a house. I just want to go back to my land, you know, and add a trailer and clean it up and get it started. Better better. I do not want to wait six months. It petrify me."

Some evacuees helped to classify huge piles of donations that spilled. The clothing racks used for blouses for shirts and plaid frames covered by pairs of boots, sneakers and organized and ordered shoes competed for space with shopping carts full of clothes, garbage bags stuffed with other donations and book boxes . The stuffed animals – yellow, purple and green plush bears and a mixture of other fuzzy bugs – sat on the pavement.

Food trucks offered free meals and a cook wrapped hamburgers on a grill. There were portable toilets and some people used the Walmart baths.

Someone who was going through the youth camp offered free medical marijuana.

The information to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance was published in a forum that allowed people to write the names of those who believe they are missing. Several names had the word "Here" written next to them.

Melissa Contant, who directed from the San Francisco area to help, advised people to register at FEMA as soon as possible and not reveal too much information about whether they own or rent homes or have enough food and water, because that could help.

"It's living in a Walmart parking lot – it's not right," she told Maggie and Michael Crowder.

EDITOR NOTE: we are changing the feedback systems. As part of this transition, from Thursday the system will not be available. We hope to continue with the comment service on Sunday, November 18th.

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