California wildfires: Nearly 1,000 unaccounted for in Camp Fire
The death toll from the Camp Fire in Northern California increased by one Sunday to 77, while the number of people unaccounted for has decreased to 993 people. The blaze was two-thirds contained as of Sunday night after consuming some 150,000 acres.
In Southern California, just outside Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire was 91 percent contained after burning 96,949 acres and killing three people. Dense smoke from the fires has been smothering parts of the state with what has been described as "the dirtiest air in the world."
Rain is forecast for mid-week, which could help firefighters but also complicate the challenging search for remains. "It's a disheartening situation," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. "As much as I wish we could get through this before the rains come, I don't know if that's possible." The rain could also trigger mud and rockslides in Southern California.
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California wildfires fast facts
These are the current numbers as of Sunday night from Cal Fire.
- Location: Butte County
- 150,000 acres burned
- 65 percent contained
- 77 fatalities confirmed
- 993 unaccounted for
- 12,794 structures destroyed
- Full containment expected Nov. 30
- Location: Los Angeles County, Ventura County
- 96,949 acres burned
- 91 percent contained
- 3 fatalities confirmed
- 1,452 structures destroyed, 337 damaged
- Full containment expected Nov. 22
Vigil held in Chico, California, for wildfire victims
The town of Paradise, California, held a vigil Sunday night to remember the dozens who died in the wildfire that swept through the region.
The vigil at First Christian Church in Chico was a time for residents to quietly reflect, pray, bring photos or momentos of lost friends, family and pets and was a chance to seek help from counselors and mental health experts.
A sign at the vigil read: "We will rise from the ashes" and two hashtags: #paradisestrong #buttecountystorng
People hugged and shed tears as Pastor Jesse Kearns recited a prayer for first responders: "We ask for continued strength as they are growing weary right now."
Calif. governor says Trump promised he won't cut wildfire funding
California Gov. Jerry Brown said President Trump assured him he will not cut federal funding to California to deal with the state's deadly wildfires in what the governor called a "big, big win."
On Saturday, Brown and the president toured damage from the Camp Fire that killed dozens of people, with nearly 1,300 more still unaccounted for. The governor also said economic impact of the fires will be "tens of billions" of dollars.
"The president not only has signed a presidential declaration giving California substantial funding, but he said and pledged very specifically to continue to help us, that he's got our back," Brown said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "And I thought that was a very positive thing."
Death toll increases to 76, number of missing jumps to 1,276
The death toll in the Camp Fire increased Saturday to 76 after four bodies were found in Paradise and another was found in nearby Concow. Sixty-three of those have been tentatively indentified as they await DNA evidence.
The number of people unaccounted for increased to 1,276, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said. That's an increase of 265 from Friday.
Honea pleaded Saturday with the public to check out the list and to call in if they are safe. Honea says the list is growing because authorities continue to cull names from phone calls, emails and reports that came in the early hours of the wildfire that started Nov. 8.
Trump visits Malibu
In Malibu, President Trump visited a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean where houses once stood and palm trees stand scorched, signs of the intense fires. Mr. Trump praised local officials, first responders and military assistance, and he said permits to rebuild will be expedited.
Standing alongside Mr. Trump, California Gov. Jerry Brown says officials will need to assess all the information available about wildfires in planning for the future. The state's governor-elect, Gavin Newsom, says people have had enough and the problem needs to be dealt with head-on.
Trump says destruction hasn't changed his mind on climate change
President Trump visited the devastation in Paradise, California, after a deadly wildfire nearly leveled the entire community. Mr. Trump declined to say whether climate change directly impacted the fires, saying there were "a lot of factors."
In October, he told CBS News' "60 Minutes" he no longer considers climate change a hoax, but said he doesn't believe it is manmade.
Mr. Trump on Saturday called the wildfire a "really bad one" and said "hopefully" it would be the last. "I think everybody's seen the light, and I don't think we'll have this again to this extent," he said.
Mixed feelings among evacuees over Trump's visit
Among the thousands who have lost their homes in Camp Fire, there were mixed emotions over Saturday's visit by President Trump.
"I think it's a great idea," said Lindsay Nelson, who fled her home in Paradise. "I mean if you want to understand what we're going through out here, you got to be here. It's not something you can just see on TV."
Fellow Paradise evacuees George Denora echoed that belief.
"I respect the job that he's been doing what he's been trying to do," Denora said. "And I'm happy he's coming. And I think it will add some brightness to a lot of people."
Others, however, were not so sure.
"Well I understand now why people in disasters don't want the president to come right away," said Charlotte Harkness, who lost her home in Paradise. "It's already a zoo here and I don't care who the president is. He needs to wait because the traffic's already horrendous.""
The feeling was shared by Terry Lee.
"I don't believe he's going to do us any good," Lee said. "The local people are doing a fantastic job. FEMA is doing fantastic. I think it's just showboating."
Trump to visit California fire scene
President Trump departed for California Saturday to see firsthand the grief and devastation from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.
California's outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats and vocal critics of Mr. Trump, planned to join the president Saturday. Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom welcomed Mr. Trump's visit, declaring it's time "to pull together for the people of California."
Details of Mr. Trump's itinerary had not been released as of Saturday morning.
Mr. Trump has stirred resentment among survivors over comments he made two days after the disaster on Twitter, then reiterated on the eve of his visit. In an interview taped Friday and scheduled for broadcast on "Fox News Sunday," Mr. Trump said he was surprised to see images of firefighters removing dried brush near a fire, adding, "This should have been all raked out."
Asked if he thought climate change contributed to the fires, he said: "Maybe it contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management." Those comments echoed his initial reaction to the fires November 10 when he blamed the wildfires on poor forest management and threatened then to withhold federal payments. Mr. Trump subsequently approved a federal disaster declaration.
People in Bay Area line up to buy face masks
People have been lining up at hardware stores and other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area to snap up face masks to minimize their intake of unhealthy air resulting from the Camp Fire.
The N95 respirators, so called because of their ability to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles, need to fit well in order to work, CBS San Francisco reports.
Some people use one strap instead of two because they are uncomfortable. But doctors have said that's a big no-no. They said use both straps, pinch the metal on top of the nose, and try to seal the mask around the face. If it's done right, there should be no gaps.
"We're supposed to breathe in oxygen and nitrogen. Now you also have this particulate matter that your lungs do not like. And once you breathe those chemical irritants in, they're distributed throughout your body," said Dr. Desmond Carson, the medical director for wellness center LifeLong Medical Care. "Those irritants are not supposed to be in your body and that's why people get headaches."
Many places in the Bay Area were giving out free masks Friday, but they were running out quickly.
Agencies note the masks may give people a false sense of security, and recommend staying indoors.
Woolsey Fire 78 percent contained
Containment of the Woolsey Fire jumped to 78 percent contained as of 9:40 p.m. ET. Hundreds of frustrated Malibu residents were unclear about whether they could return their communities, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Several residents told CBS Los Angeles on Thursday night there was confusion as to whether there neighborhoods had reopened. Some said they had initially returned home after evacuation orders were lifted, and then left to go run errands, but came back to find hard road closures in place.
"It's pretty frustrating considering they didn't tell us there's going to be a hard closure, and we've been going back and forth all day," one man said. "And all of a sudden, they just, slam, I even left something on the stove."
"Probably have to find one of the little hotels, but there's no hotels available, so I'll probably have to sleep in my vehicle," another man said.
"We had no warning, I left my house totally exposed," one woman said.
The L.A. County Office of Emergency Management explained in a news release Friday that serious infrastructural damage has prevented them from repopulating certain areas.
"With power and telephone poles burned, gas lines compromised and roadways destroyed, multiple agencies must work together to inspect the impacted areas and determine overall safety," the emergency management office wrote.
The emergency management office noted that several communities will have to be "completely rebuilt."
"We're dealing with power outages, gas leaks, water main issues, we're dealing with downed power poles, with trees that have fallen," L.A. County Sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris told reporters.
Air quality in Northern California becomes worst in the world
Smoke from California's wildfires caused northern parts of the state to record the worst levels of air quality in the world, according to Purple Air. The levels in California exceeded cities in India and China.
Most schools in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland and Folsom said they would be closed Friday. At least six universities in Northern California canceled classes Thursday. San Francisco's cable cars were shut down Friday to encourage residents and tourists to stay inside.
The state is warning people about the air quality. Search teams in the area of the Camp Fire are dealing with heavy smoke and hazardous air pollution. A monitoring station in Palermo, California, near the Camp Fire said levels of pollutants are 13 times higher than at a station near the Nevada state line in Truckee, California.
Dozens still hospitalized after California fire
Dozens of people are still hospitalized a week after a deadly wildfire broke out in Northern California. UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento said Friday that it's treated 11 people injured in the wildfire that largely destroyed the town Paradise and killed dozens.
Spokeswoman Pamela Wu said nine remain hospitalized. One person is in critical condition, one is in serious condition and eight others are in fair condition.
The hospital's chief burn surgeon told KRON-TV that most patients had burns over 20 to 50 percent of their bodies.
Enloe Medical Center in Chico treated 49 patients who evacuated from a hospital in Paradise. Hospital spokeswoman Andrea Gleason says numerous others were admitted for fire-related injuries, but the staff hasn't kept track of the exact number of patients.
National Park Service plans to rebuild burned down buildings, movie sets
Officials from the National Park Service plan to rebuild the burned-down buildings and movie sets of Southern California's Paramount Ranch and reopen within two years.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Superintendent David Szymanski announced the plan as he guided reporters through the charred foundations that once made up the ranch's "Western Town," most of which burned shortly after a wildfire broke out Nov. 8.
A church built for HBO's "Westworld" and a train depot built for the 1990s CBS series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" are all that still stand amid the blackened hills of the ranch that began as a set for Paramount Pictures in the 1920s and was taken over by the National Park Service in 1980.
Structures that served as barns, hotels, saloons and barbershops for decades of movies and TV shows are gone.
Family listed as missing actually escaped blaze
Officials believe the list of people missing in the Camp Fire includes some who fled the fast-moving blaze and don't realize they have been reported as missing. That's what happened to one family who escaped the town of Paradise, which was all but destroyed.
Greg Fernea and his adult sons Nicolas Fernea and Patrick Fernea have been staying at Patrick's home in rural Tehama Ranch, where cell service is spotty, CBS Sacramento reports. Nicolas Fernea told the station people from his past called worried about his well-being.
"I had old teachers, like I graduated from Ridgeview High School, and they actually saw my name on the list and reached out, and I want to thank them," he said.
Camp at Walmart parking lot shutting down
A makeshift camp at a Walmart parking lot in Northern California will shut down, CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan reports. Donation bins and portable bathrooms will be removed.
More than 100 evacuees from the Camp Fire set up the camp in Chico, which is near the all-but-destroyed town of Paradise. A co-organizer of the group said the Red Cross has told them the camp will be shut down by 1 p.m. PT Sunday.
The Red Cross said that it wasn't the charity's decision to shut the camp down and that it was making people aware of its shelters in the area. Emergency officials were aware but said federal assistance wasn't available.
Family survives fire, Thousand Oaks carnage
Members of one California family survived two unthinkable tragedies less than 24 hours apart, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Carmen Edman said her family's harrowing escape from Malibu came a day after her daughter, Deseriee, survived the mass shooting inside the Borderline Bar & Grillin Thousand Oaks. "I was in panic mode since Wednesday night -- since that phone call -- and stress levels were off the charts," Carmen Edman said.
The Edman family got to safety, but their Malibu home burned to the ground. It was 48 hours of horror for the family, but all of them kept things in perspective: They all survived. "Two-near death experiences that you just don't expect," Deseriee Edman said.
Deseriee said she's still processing what happened at the Borderline Bar and with the Woolsey Fire.
"I'm trying to stay strong as possible for my family and my friends. And I'm trying to look at everything as positive as I can in these types of situations," she said.
Deseriee's family knows their situation could be worse. "Twelve people didn't go home. Ron didn't go home, neither did Justin, Christina all these people that were there. Good people," Carmen Edman said.