Steady rain in Northern California has helped to extinguish the state’s deadliest wildfire, but it is complicating efforts to search for remains of victims.
A downpour Friday turned much of the ash covering the city of Paradise into a paste, making it more difficult for those looking for remains.
Rescuers are combing debris with rakes looking for clues about people who have been reported missing. More than 800 volunteers were out searching Friday despite the weather.
The Camp Fire has killed 84 people and left 563 missing.
Authorities have refrained from publicly estimating how many of the missing might have perished, but some who lived through the blaze have said the death toll will keep rising.
Authorities say the fire is almost completely contained. They say once the rain clears they will be able to determine if the blaze is fully extinguished.
The Camp Fire has scorched nearly 62,000 hectares of land and destroyed more than 13,600 homes since it broke out Nov. 8.
A separate fire in Southern California that struck Malibu killed another three people. More residents in the Malibu area were allowed to return home Friday as crews worked to repair power, telephone and gas lines. (VOA)