A massive wildfire that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in Northern California has been fully contained after burning for more than two weeks, authorities said Sunday. It was both the deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history.
The number of people still missing from the Camp Fire north of San Francisco dropped to 249 on Sunday, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said. "What they're recovering is bones and bone fragments".
While rain complicated the search, it also helped almost extinguish the blaze, said Josh Bischof, operations chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Sonny Perdue, the USA secretary of agriculture, traveled to Paradise, California, on Monday, the town at the epicenter of the blaze.
Search and rescue crews dig through the burnt remains of a business as they look for human remains on in Paradise, California, on November 21.
"Prior to returning home, residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they have food, water and fuel for their vehicles", said the statement.
At least 85 people have been killed since the devastating fires started on 8 November, while rescuers are searching for hundreds who remain unaccounted for.
Despite the bad weather, more than 800 volunteers searched for human remains on Thanksgiving and again on Friday, two weeks after flames swept through the Sierra Nevada foothills, authorities said.
About 250 thousand people were evacuated.
Lawmakers interviewed by Bloomberg said they sense little interest among their colleagues in changing inverse condemnation. "Everyone here is super committed to helping the folks here". It dropped an estimated 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain over the burn area during a three-day period without causing significant mudslides, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley of the National Weather Service.
Cal Fire said that the remaining uncontained fire "is isolated in steep and rugged terrain where it is unsafe for firefighters to access due to the heavy rains".
In Northern California, searchers tried to keep their minds on the task rather than the tragic situation.