California wildfires: Where things stand

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By Doha Madani

California’s deadliest-ever wildfire, the Camp Fire, and the devastating Woolsey Fire have been burning for a week or more, killing dozens, with hundreds of other people still missing, and billowing smoke that has brought hazardous levels of air pollution more than 150 miles away to the Bay Area.

The fires have together scorched more than 200,000 acres and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings, leaving many homeless.

Here is quick look at the reach of these infernos.

Image: Woolsey Fire
A horse is spooked as the Woolsey Fire moves through a property in Agoura Hills on Nov. 9.Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

The toll of dead and missing

Northern California’s Camp Fire is the deadliest wildfire in state history, with a death toll of 63 people so far.

As of Thursday evening, 631 people in the area of the fire were unaccounted for and have been reported missing.

Authorities are still actively working to recover and identify bodies, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.

“I’m still actively engaged in the aspect of trying to recover human remains and that’s something we’ve brought in a lot of resources in to help us do, as thoroughly as possibly in the circumstances, but as quickly as possible as we know we have to get people back into the area,” Honea said Thursday.

Three people have died so far in the Woolsey Fire in the canyons west of Los Angeles including the Malibu area.

Image: Search Dog Camp Fire Aftermath
A search and rescue dog searches for human remains at the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif on Nov. 16, 2018.John Locher / AP

Thousands of homes destroyed

The Camp Fire has scorched 9,844 residences, 336 commercial buildings, and 2,076 other structures — including practically wiping out the entire town of Paradise, according California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Paradise resident Emerald Mayfied told NBC News that her home was lost.

“I never made it back to the house,” Mayfied said. “But my kids got all the pets. And all the kids are safe. And the baby is good. So we’re doing good.”

At the other end of the state, the Woolsey Fire has burned down 616 structures and damaged another 183 buildings.

Among those who have lost their homes are some celebrities, such as actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus.

More than 13,000 structures have been destroyed between the Camp and Woolsey fires, according to Cal Fire.

Image: Firefighters battle a blaze at the Salvation Army Camp
Firefighters battle a blaze at the Salvation Army Camp on Nov. 10, 2018 in Malibu, California.Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Dangerous air quality over 150 miles away

Smoke from the Camp Fire is blowing more than 150 miles away into the Bay Area, causing serious health risks for residents and leading to widespread school closures.

Winds that have kept the Camp Fire burning have also carried giant plumes of smoke south toward the heavily populated San Francisco area. The Air Quality Index reached 263 in San Francisco and 256 in Oakland by Friday afternoon, well into the zone of “very unhealthy.”

“Once you get to 150, that’s mask-wearing stuff,” said Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board.

NBC Bay Area reported that the smoke from the Camp Fire lowered the air quality in Northern California to the worst in the world, according to PurpleAir, an air quality monitoring app.

Image: Camp Fire Aftermath
Investigators recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp Fire in Magalia, Calif on Nov. 15, 2018.John Locher / AP

Firefighters struggling to bring blazes under control

The Camp Fire, which began on Nov. 8, has burned 142,000 acres — the size of about 107,000 football fields. As of Friday evening, it is about 45 percent contained.

The Woolsey Fire began the following day, on Nov. 9, and has swept across 98,362 acres. It is about 69 percent contained.

A handful of smaller burns started after the Camp and Woolsey fires but have been far less destructive.

For some perspective on the size, use the map below to compare each blaze to any of the 1,000 most-populous cities or towns in the U.S.


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