After More Than Two Weeks, California’s Deadliest Wildfire Is Finally Contained
A neighborhood in Paradise, California, consumed by the Camp Fire.Noah Berger/AP
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Early on Sunday morning, Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency, announced that California’s deadliest wildfire is now 100 percent contained. Camp Fire, which decimated the town of Paradise and much of Butte County, has destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, more than 500 businesses, and thousands of other structures. It has burned through 153,000 acres, and left at least 85 people dead.
Thousands of displaced people are now crammed into emergency shelters, staying in hotels, or camping outside. Though the fire is now contained, there are still 249 people missing—down from more than 1,000 just a few days ago—and authorities expect the death toll to rise, the Washington Post reports.
For 17 days, firefighters have been battling the blaze, but the last three days saw consistent rainfall, helping them get a handle on the fire. The rain, however, also poses potential dangers of its own: “Areas experiencing significant rainfall following a wildfire are at risk for debris flows and flash flooding,” warned the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.