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A burned car sits on the corner of a street after the Valley fire ravaged and destroyed an entire neighborhood in Cobb Mountain, Calif. (Photo: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Fourth Body Found in California’s Valley Fire, Seven Confirmed Dead in Total

Searchers have found yet another body in the aftermath of a wildfire that has burned more than 118 sqaure miles and destroyed nearly 2,000 buildings in California, according to officials.  This brings the death toll to four, but several people are still missing, and the cause is still under investigation.

The body is believed to belong to Robert Fletcher, a 66 year old man who was reported missing, but an official identification hasn’t been made yet the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.  The discovery was made around 6:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. ET) on Tuesday in the community of Cobb, one of the areas burned by the fire that broke out on Sept. 12.  The location of Robert Litchman, 61, of Middletown, still remains unknown.

In total, seven people have been confirmed to fall victim to the recent wildfires in the state.  The bodies of three others: Bruce Beven Burns, 65, Leonard Neft, 69, and Barbara McWilliams, 72 were found in debris last week, reports NBC station KCRA.  California is in its fourth year of a momentous drought, which allows for flames to spread quickly due to the incredibly dry conditions, officials say.  The Valley Fire is considered to be the third-most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.  The fire in Lake, Napa, and Sonoma counties north of San Francisco have caused roughly 12,000 residents to abandon their homes.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for the area, which opens up the opportunity of federal funding to help with the situation.

Two people hae been killed in the Butte Fire, which spread out over 110 square miles and was 84 percent contained Wednesday after commencing on Sept. 9, says the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).  The fire, situated in Amador and Calaveras counties about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento, has now destoryed 475 homes and ravaged 70,868 acres of land.

And then one other person was killed in the Tassajara Fire, which covered more than 1,000 acres in Moterey County and was 81 percent contained Wednesday after beginning on Saturday, said Cal Fire. Twelve homes have been reduced to rubble in its flames.

Hopefully the fires can be fully contained soon and no more lives are lost.  Around 3,300 firefighters were still combating the flames on Tuesday, so only time will tell how much longer it will take to get the situation under control.

About Jürgen Rae

Jürgen Rae
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