Messages are displayed in front of a church in Chico, California, as evacuators, family and friends are searching for people…
CHICO, California – In a neck piercing blind, disabled retired Michael French was striving over a parking lot to send a DNA test to California authorities as he hopes to help him find his missing niece.
French, 62, said he and other relatives have searched for Wendy since a fast-moving firepowder – the most destructive in California history – swept through 11,000 homes and buildings in paradise and adjacent mountain peoples communities on November 8, 71 dead.
“No one has heard from her at all. She has not contacted us so I’m deeply worried,” said French. “The family is believed to be the worst.”
As firefighters fight to contain the mortal Camp Fire, the authorities intensified efforts to identify the lost and the dead. The team of volunteers in white protective equipment searched for black ground and family members came to deepened DNA centers where their mouths were swabbed to identify victims. The remains of at least 13 victims have not been identified, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.
The list of people not reported to exceed 1000 on Friday after the authorities released 600 names in an attempt to identify those found by friends and relatives. The amazing revelation rescues the death penalty to increase exponentially.
The long list also confused President Trump, as tweeted on Friday that “as many of 600” people could have forgotten in the flames. “19659008” They can not even see the bodies, that’s incredible, “Tweeted Trump, who is scheduled to visit the area Saturday.
However, as the names of the unaccompanied to expand to four-fold numbers, Honea warned that it is possible that many of these listed are safe but did not call authorities to confirm. Some names in the list may be duplicate with different spellings, he added.
“We have a significant event, an unprecedented event where massive numbers of people were shifted and scattered throughout northern California,” he said, explaining why it has been difficult to confirm the lack of the expanding list of names.
Only 329 people have been cleared from the list of 1,011, he said.
Among those found but still noted as unaccountered was Suzanne Heffernan’s mother, Shirley Woodhouse. Heffernan had talked with his parents when they evacuated their home in paradise a week earlier, and she and her four siblings had been in close contact with their parents’ welfare since then.
So Heffernan was surprised to call from a local sheriff office on Thursday telling her that her mom, who was in the 80’s, was on the list missing. One of Woodhouse’s high school lovers had added her.
It’s interesting, she said, “if outsiders and non-family members add people to the missing list.”
The authorities and residents of Paradise – a community of 26,000 inhabitants embedded in the foothills of Sierra Nevada – said the death penalty is likely to rise in this city, where many retired and fled from the city, even if it is unclear how high. Among the inhabitants are many elderly or ill, who may not have been able to fly as the flames approached.
Honea said it’s “safe in the possibility that we’ll never be able” the exact number of people killed in the fan. 19659018] “It is my sincere hope that we identify all missing and identify any remains,” he added. “But that’s the nature of this tragedy… This is a massive and massive company.”
Although they searched for the burned area with the largest search and rescue team in state history, the authorities said they barely scratched the surface in the area that may contain human
It may mean a long wait for friends and relatives of the missing ones.
Friday would have been Dorothy Lee Mack’s 88th birthday and her sister-in-law had not heard from her since the fire swept through Ridgewood Mobile Home Park, where Mack lived at number 19.
Mack is not one to give in, said her sister-in-law Marian Mack. She survived polio when she was 10 years later with cancer and two hip changes. But Marian did not know if Dorothy would have heard the emergency recipients who rushed among the camper cars at 6:30 AM and called bells to wake their sleeping people.
“It’s been a horrible time,” says Marian Mack, who occasionally visited Dorothy’s birthday. “We just have to wait and pray.”
Camp Fire has consumed more than 140,000 hectares – an area of the order of Chicago – and contains 50 percent. But several fires continue to rage over the state. In Southern California, Woolsey Fire has blown across an area from Simi Valley to the multi-million dollar beach home in Malibu. At least three people have been killed in that fire.
More than 9,000 firemen work to contain the Camp and Woolsey fires with water tankers and helicopters, blazes that have destroyed more than 12,000 structures, according to Cal Fire.
National Weather Service has issued a red flag alert in the Camp Fire area for Saturday evening to Sunday, which means that large winds can cause the flames to spread rapidly. Authorities add firefighters to prevent fire from growing.
They also extend efforts to identify human remains, which send “Rapid DNA” machines near fire scenes. The technique allows relatives to deliver their genetic material through a cheek and compare it with a database of unidentified victims in less than two hours.
The machines, about the size of a mini-refrigerator, are part of a new initiative rolled out by law enforcement after receiving Congress approval last year. The FBI hopes to launch a pilot program for police to test suspects in reservation stations and pass on the results to state crime laboratories and the National DNA Database early next year, the Agency said.
ANDE, a Waltham, Mass., Company, is one of two companies approved to deliver fast-speed machines to the government and sent six of them to different fire commands on Wednesday, says Communications Manager Annette Mattern. The DNA samples collected there will only be used to identify victims, she said, and these machines are not linked to the National DNA Database.
Authorities hope to encourage more relatives to those who are missing them. Only 17 DNA samples have been processed, they said.
On Friday, displaced residents camping out at a parking lot in Walmart in Chico visited a deserted Sears store where the Federal Emergency Management Agency had established services.
Jeff Hansen, 37, waited for several hours to apply for urgent help to his nine members, including a 36-year-old brother with carcass barking using a wheelchair. He lost his house in Paradise, his workplace and one of his three cars in the fire.
“Hopefully, the FEMA will help us,” Hansen said.
The center also became a place for impromptu reunions, as displaced residents ran to friends and neighbors whom they feared had died in the fire.
Lindsay Nelson, 37, had been fretting for days about what happened to her 78-year-old girlfriend “Jay Jay”. But when she saw him at the Center, Nelson hugged and snapped a photo to send on Facebook.
“No one had heard from him, we thought he was missing. So happy to see him knowing he’s okay,” said Nelson, who had lived in paradise but lost the home she rented there. “This is such a relief. I do not want to hear any of my friends did not. It would just be too hard with everything that’s happening.”
But with the death stick rising, Nelson is still bracing for the worse.
“In fact, everyone knows that they will know someone who did not,” she said. “In fact, we must build a memorial in paradise.”
Annie Gowen and Frances Sellers reported from Washington. Tom Jackman and Julie Tate contributed to this report from Washington.