Nearly a week has passed since the deadly fires first broke out in California and firefighters have not yet gained control of the flames. The death toll has risen to 35 with 200 people still missing.
Watch: Rescue forces brave the blazes in search of victims
The death toll from the Northern California fires has risen to 35, while 200 people remain missing. Rescue forces are still struggling to bring the wildfires- which have already destroyed over 222,000 acres- under control. Jerry Brown, Governor of California, has declared a state of emergency in the area.
Firefighters are still battling the blazes in one of the deadliest fires in California’s history as they continue to try to locate the missing persons. In footage taken from the heart of the flames, a rescue team can be seen attempting to rescue people from burning homes. “It’s not over,” said a local police chief. “Stay away from the houses and understand the severity of what this fire can do.”
200 still missing in California fires Photo Credit: Sky News/ Channel 2 News
Many of the victims’ bodies were completely burned, making it difficult for firefighters to identify their remains; rescue forces have had to resort to using fingerprints and tattoos to identify them. “We‘ve been forced to work that direction because we may not have enough information to identify people, because of the fire and the severity of the burn,” said one of the rescue workers.
The fires that broke out on Sunday spread rapidly due to the fierce winds that hit the already dry area. Many residents were trapped by the flames that surprised them overnight and destroyed thousands of structures.