San Francisco: The death toll from the raging Camp Fire in the US state of California has increased to 48 as rescuers continue to search for missing residents in and around the town of Paradise, authorities said.
The blaze, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history, kept growing on Tuesday, though firefighters got some reprieve as winds died down, CNN reported.
An additional six bodies were discovered in the Paradise town, which had been almost totally burned down by the fire, said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea. All the six victims were found in their homes.
More than 200 people were still missing as a result of the fire and the list of names would be published soon, said Honea.
He also said the recovery teams were using “cutting-edge technology” to identify the badly-burnt bodies.
According to reports, a Rapid DNA-analysis system was set up in the decimated town, equipped with portable devices that can identify someone’s genetic material in hours, rather than the days or weeks it takes to test samples in labs.
There had been 208 suspicious incidents reported in Camp Fire’s evacuation zone, with 18 of them linked to looting, according to an announcement by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. Six people had been arrested.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said the fire had scorched 130,000 acres (526.1 square km) with 35 per cent contained.
More than 5,600 firefighters from other western states in the country were battling the blaze.