Hellish Toll: Deadliest Blaze in California History Claims At Least 85 Lives

More remains were found during the aftermath of the Camp Fire in California, bringing the number of fatalities to 85.

Many of the bodies were found in incinerated cars and homes. Some were found next to their vehicles, apparently overwhelmed by the deadly smoke and fire before they could get inside.

While running away from a wildfire is one of the best actions one can take to survive, it is no easy task, and many people have perished after getting trapped in the midst of a wildfire.

The deadly blaze turned the northern California town of Paradise and its surrounding areas into a raging inferno during the weekend, destroying at least 14,000 homes and structures across Butte County.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the incident was “an unprecedented event.” Officials say almost 300 people are still missing after the intense wildfire. Experts estimate insured property losses will cost at least $4 billion.

Still recovering from the series of destructive wildfires from last year, the latest blaze has put an additional burden on the state’s already maxed-out firefighting resources. Photo by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Northern California Camp Fire has reduced at least 237.5 square miles to cinder, but firefighters have had success in keeping it from creeping into Oroville, a town of almost 20,000 people.

The fire was part of a twin set of wildfires at both ends of the state. More than a thousand residents were forced to evacuate during the two infernos, but most have been allowed to return while authorities reopened U.S. 101.

In Southern California, firefighters have made progress in battling the massive blaze that has claimed the lives of two people and razed more than 400 structures.

The 85 fatalities in Northern California makes the Camp Fire the deadliest single fire on the state’s record, surpassing the 1933 Los Angeles blaze that killed 29 people.

Last year, a series of wildfires in Northern California’s wine country claimed the lives of 44 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes.

The search for bodies continues as authorities brought in cadaver dogs, portable morgue units and additional search and rescue personnel to help find more remains.

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