Kimberly Spainhower hugs her daughter Chloe, 13, while her husband Ryan Spainhower searches the ashes of her burned home in…
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images
The Camp Fire Death Fee has risen to 88, while 203 is missing, Butte County Sheriff said during a Monday evening newsletter.
Wilderness, the deadliest and most destructive in California history, was found on Sundays after fires for 17 days. It was 153,336 hectares (240 square kilometers).
Of the 88 dead, 54 have been identified preliminarily. Another 16 have been positively identified. Of the 16, 13 were in paradise – the city is in the foothills of Sierra Nevada, charred into a creepy wasteland of burned cars and homeowners.
All but two of the dead were seniors.
“Unfortunately, many of the remains we have found are almost completely consumed by the fire,” said sheriff Kory Honea. “What they recover is bone and bone fragments.”
Officials increased the death rate when a forensic laboratory ruled that previous abnormalities were from two individuals were actually from three.
No further remnants were placed on Sunday. Honea identified a “trend” of fewer and fewer residues recovered every day.
“It’s positive because we’ve made good progress in covering the vast part of the area we need to cover,” Honea said.
Butte County has a public list of 203 still missing. Most of the missing are from paradise, many are from Magalia and some are from Chico, Concow, Berry Creek, Stirling City, Big Bend and Oroville.
The authorities say that 2 689 people who were once identified as missing were found.  Search and rescue personnel, coroners and forensic anthropologists continue with recovery and search efforts.
The fire destroyed 13,972 homes, 528 commercial structures and 4 293 other buildings. Repair personnel continue to carry out rehabilitation wherever possible, according to the latest event update.
“Many people are keen to come back to their characteristics and communities,” Honea said. “We are very keen to get people back in their real estate. But what we have to do before we can allow it is to ensure that the area is safe for the public to return.”
Several areas remain under evacuation, including Paradise and Magalia.