California Fire Death Toll Rises As Responders Locate Bodies Of Evacuees Who Burned In Their Cars

MALIBU, CA - NOV 11: Firefighters battle a blaze at the Salvation Army Camp on November 10, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

California Fire Death Toll Rises As Responders Locate Bodies Of Evacuees Who Burned In Their Cars

At least 23 people died in the now-destroyed town of Paradise.

Published November 12, 2018

As the death toll from the raging California wildfire rises to at least 31, Gov. Jerry Brown is requesting a "major disaster declaration" from President Trump.

The devastation, which is being called the "Camp Fire," has nearly destroyed the entire city of Paradise, which leveled thousands of homes and businesses. All 27,000 residents were ordered to evacuate the town; however, 200 people are still unaccounted for while at least seven died in their cars while trying to escape.

While speaking with the Daily Mail, survivors recalled sitting in a gridlocked traffic that stretched miles-long as the blaze rampage their surroundings. Some even jumped out and carried their pets and valuables along the road. 

On Sunday, a town hall meeting between evacuees and local officials became tense when residents demanded to know why there weren’t more firefighters on the scene, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Additionally, some evacuees demanded to know why there was not more communication when the fires broke out.

"Some of my neighbors have lost everything. And I'm not sure if my house is standing," one woman said, pointing at officials. "Please answer that."

State Sen. Henry Stern tried to reassure the crowd, and said he can empathize because his home is also at risk.

"I still don't know if my home is standing. And I don't know if my grandparents' home is standing," he said.

Authorities are now planning to up the efforts to recover and identify people who died in a Northern California wildfire.The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is allowing people to return to their homes in parts of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, reports CBS Los Angeles.

But officials stressed that there won't be any access to neighborhoods south of the 101 freeway.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)


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