California: Fire Officials warn the Deadly Camp Fire is ‘Not Even Half-way Done’
Fire retardant being sprayed on wild fires in California, US (Photo: Twitter)

76 people dead. 10,000 homes burnt to the ground. 1200 people missing. But those fighting the deadly fire in California known as the ‘Camp Fire’ say it is not even halfway done burning yet.

Officials with California’s fire department, Cal Fire say the scope and size of the blaze means that they will be unable to contain it before the end of this month. That is another two weeks of raging fire across the state’s landscape. "It is overwhelming, I don't have any word to describe it," Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea said. "This is unprecedented. No one has had to deal with this magnitude that caused so much destruction and regrettably so much death."

As of Sunday morning, the Camp Fire had burnt close to 1,49,500 acres and was just 60% contained. Rain was forecast for this week, near Paradise, one of the area worst hits by Camp Fire. But, the National Weather Service said the area could get 45 kmph sustained winds and strong gusts, which create tough conditions for crews to make progress against the massive blaze.

Sheriff Kory Honea has asked evacuees to review the list of those reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call the department if those people are known to be safe. But as of now the list contains the names of 1200 people who are missing.

Deputies have located hundreds of people to date, but the overall number keeps growing because they are adding more names, including those from the chaotic early hours of the disaster, Honea said.

"As much as I wish that we could get through all of this before the rains come, I don't know if that's possible," he said.

Honea said it was within the "realm of possibility" that officials would never know the exact death toll from the blaze. (With PTI inputs)