Fires in California: “ash and bone”, death toll rising to 31 dead

A home destroyed by a fire in the region of the Napa Valley, Caifornie, October 9, 2017. — JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The vineyards burned, houses destroyed, and above all a human toll was very heavy : wildfires in northern California have resulted in over 30 deaths, authorities said Thursday night. This is the most heavy toll from a fire in Los Angeles in 1933. And the situation is not expected to settle this weekend, with high winds expected and homes far from being circumscribed.

Also read : The aerial images of the landscapes devastated by fire

According to the sheriff of the county of Sonoma Robert Giordano, 463 people had still not been located Thursday. Audits are complicated by communication problems and by the fact that many people report the disappearance of relatives, but not their reunion. The identification of the victims is complex. “In some places, we find the body intact. In others, there is only ash and bone “.

3.500 buildings reduced to ashes

Several thousands of firefighters are battling tirelessly against the flames, with reinforcements coming from all over the country. But the task is daunting : most of 78,000 hectares have gone up in smoke, and in the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma, the Tubbs and Atlas fires are confined to less than 10 %. In total, over 3,500 buildings have been reduced to ashes.

Entire neighborhoods have burned to the ground in Santa Rosa, California due to raging wildfires.

— ABC News (@ABC) October 11, 2017

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“The dry winds blowing in gusts and low humidity will continue to hinder the efforts of firefighters, in particular between Friday night and Saturday night,” said the local weather, including winds that can blow up to 80 km/h and humidity levels during the day between 10 and 20% depending on the locations.

Natural disaster

The authorities of the american State’s most populous, had indicated on Wednesday they have obtained reinforcements from the States close to Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Arizona), and others were to follow. The national Guard of California were to increase its field force to 2,500 by Thursday night, had said Wednesday the chief of the general staff Dave Baldwin, chief of staff to the governor of California.

The american president Donald Trump said on Tuesday the state of natural disaster. Several farms of this region very wine, sometimes centuries-old, have been totally or partially destroyed. Some were still on the path of the flames.