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'Lost Paradise': California's worst fire finally contained

November 27, 2018 08:31 IST

The deadly northern California wildfire that destroyed the mountain town of Paradise has been fully contained after burning for more than two weeks.

The catastrophic Camp Fire in northern California's Butte County that ignited on November 8 and indiscriminately devoured thousands of homes and structures and claimed at least 85 lives was fully contained by firefighters, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection, also known as Cal Fire.

 

According to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, at least 296 people remain unaccounted for.

At least three fire-fighters were injured battling the Camp Fire.

The Camp Fire has destroyed 13,972 residences and 528 commercial buildings as it burned 153,336 acres, according to the Cal Fire incident report. The fire began in the parched Sierra Nevada foothills and quickly spread across 620 square kilometers, destroying most of Paradise town in a day. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

The blaze exploded as strong winds fanned the flames southwest, enveloping Paradise, a bucolic community of 27,000 people in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The fire has virtually decimated the entire town. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said they were in the last phase of repopulating Malibu and unincorporated areas of the county. At the height of the fire, 250,000 fled their homes. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

In southern California, more residents returned to areas evacuated in a destructive fire as crews repaired power, telephone and gas utilities. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

Rain that soaked the Butte County fire area in the past days helped douse the remaining flames, but also made it more difficult for crews searching for bodies.. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

The fire fighting crew continue sifting through muddy ash for human remains in and around the devastated town of Paradise. Photograph: Terray Sylvester/Reuters

United States health and human services secretary Alex Azar has declared a public health emergency in California, where the wildfires forced the evacuation of at least two hospitals and eight other health facilities. The smoke from the flames descended across the Golden State and choked the air in major cities. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

According to the health department, smoke advisories were issued for the affected region amid concerns that smoke from the fires could present a "significant health threat" for people with asthma and other lung conditions. Residents were advised to stay indoors as much as possible and to wear a protective mask when venturing outside. Photograph: Sharon Bernstein/Reuters