MIDDLETOWN, Calif. -- Two more bodies have been found in the ruins of homes burned by giant California wildfires, bringing the death toll to five as cooler weather and rain helped firefighters gain ground on the blazes, officials said Thursday.
Official identifications have not yet been made, but the Lake County sheriff's office said the bodies are presumed to be those of Bruce Beven Burns and former San Jose Mercury News police reporter Leonard Neft.
On Wednesday, cadaver dogs were brought into the Lake County disaster zone to search for bodies.
"It moved so fast that in several cases there were people who couldn't beat it -- just couldn't beat it out," said Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin to CBS News.
Telephone lines and emergency communication systems had been burned. There was no water or power. Animals were left to roam helplessly.
CBS News' David Begnaud reported it was the worst disaster the county had ever seen, according to one official. State officials said Wednesday they were in the burn area surveying the damage.
Another woman was found dead Sunday in the blaze burning about 100 miles north of San Francisco.
Shirley Burns said her 65-year-old brother-in-law might have been sleeping in his trailer and didn't realize the fire was speeding toward him on Saturday.
"It came in very fast, it was a monster," she said from her home in Lodi.
She recalled Burns as a laid-back guy who sold items at a Clear Lake flea market and lived in a trailer at the family's metal recycling yard.
"He reminded me of a big Teddy bear," Shirley Burns said. "He was a real kind and gentle person. He had a beard and looked like a mountain man."
Neft's wife and daughter were not immediately available for comment on Thursday.
He last spoke with his family on Saturday before authorities found his burned-out car on a route he would have used to escape.
His daughter Joselyn Neft previously said Adela Neft repeatedly called her husband Saturday to tell him to leave the house, but he told her he didn't think the fire was coming toward him.
Neft's house was in the same area where Barbara McWilliams, 72, was found dead on Sunday. She told her caretaker she didn't want to leave her home near Middletown and would be fine.
In the Anderson Spring neighborhood there is nothing left. The Dugan family lost their home, just six months after the children lost their mother to cancer.
Grandmother Marsha Conns told CBS News there is no insurance on the home where the kids lived. She said she doesn't know what to do next.
"We don't know," she said. "....We don't what we can do."
Two other bodies were found inside homes destroyed in a separate wildfire in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Calaveras County coroner Kevin Raggio said.
One was identified as Mark McCloud, 65, who was found Tuesday in the Mountain Ranch area.
Raggio wouldn't release the name of the other victim because the family had not been notified.
The disclosures came as firefighters gained ground on the massive blazes amid cooler weather and rain on Wednesday.
The fire in Lake County had charred 115 square miles and was 35 percent contained. An estimated 585 homes and hundreds of other structures have burned.
The fire in Amador and Calaveras counties has burned 110 square miles. It was 49 percent contained after destroying 252 homes.