CALIFORNIA: Death Toll From Wildfires Rises To 48

The New York Times reports:

It is a measure of how frequent and deadly wildfires have become in California that identifying badly burned remains has become an area of expertise. Once again cadaver dogs have been summoned, forensic dental experts will follow and coroners and anthropologists are using their experience from previous wildfires to locate the victims.

At least 48 people were killed in the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history, and many more are missing. “We don’t want to be good at this, but it’s an unfortunate reality of what has gone on in Northern California,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which has a search team working in Paradise.

“We’ve done this before,” said Jason Finney, 42, a captain with the Butte County Fire Department, after he pulled onto one fire-ravaged street on Tuesday. The difference this time, he said, was the scale. “But not with this many people, in this large an area, with so many structures and so many vehicles.”

CBS News reports:

President Trump called the wildfires “devastating” and “the likes of which we’ve never seen before” at the White House on Tuesday. “We mourn the lives of those lost, and we pray for the victims, and there are more victims than anybody would ever even think possible,” Mr. Trump said during a ceremony marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

On Saturday, the president blamed the fires on “poor” forest management in the state, saying on Twitter that there was “no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.” Mr. Trump had threatened to withhold federal aid, but he approved an emergency disaster declaration Monday.

On Tuesday, the president thanked firefighters, first responders and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for responding to the fires, which he described as “a very tough situation.”