California’s Wildfire Death Toll on the Rise

Almost 3,000 firefighters continued to battle Lake County’s Valley Fire, increasing containment Thursday morning to 85 percent as the last of widespread evacuation orders are set to be lifted, reports

Federal officials are still working on the request for the other fire, said Kelly Huston, deputy director for the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Containment of the blaze, a measure of how much of its perimeter has been enclosed within buffer lines carved through vegetation by ground crews, stood at 80 percent on Wednesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

The fire in Lake, Napa, and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco have caused roughly 12,000 residents to abandon their homes.

The sheriff’s department declined to release the cause of death or other details on how the fire started Saturday, saying an investigation continues.

Sheriff’s officials found the remains in the Cobb area and believe they belong to 66-year-old Robert Taylor Fletcher, whose home was destroyed.

That fire has burned a little more than a square mile since it started about 30 miles east of the coastal city of Monterey.

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