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Camp fire in Northern California comes close to containment

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 11/24/2018 By Tony Bizjak, The Sacramento Bee

a tree in a forest: Nothing remains of the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park in Paradise, where a team recovered one victim on Monday, Nov. 21. as the search continues for victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Last toll brought the number of deaths to 42. © Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS Nothing remains of the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park in Paradise, where a team recovered one victim on Monday, Nov. 21. as the search continues for victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Last toll brought the number of deaths to 42. SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's most catastrophic wildfire may finally be reaching its dying embers.

Aided by two days of drenching rains, fire officials in Butte County report that the Camp fire is 95 percent contained, and that crews on Friday were putting out hot spots in the mountains east of Paradise as well as laying fire lines to cover the last edge of the once-raging fire.

The Camp fire has scorched 153,000 acres, destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, most of them residences, and left a death toll of 84.

Cal Fire officials cautioned Friday that the fire fight is not yet finished. The state has set the week of Nov. 30, one week from now, as the expected period it will have achieved full containment.

"Until we reach 100 percent containment, there will be crews actively working to put out hot spots, strengthen containment lines," Cal Fire incident spokesman Andrew Freeborn said. "There is always a potential for fire growth if there is still fire there."

That potential appears, though, to have been substantially reduced, thanks to heavy rains that hit the area Wednesday and Thursday. The National Weather Service reports that 1 inch of rain fell on lower elevations in Butte County and up to 4 inches fell in the mountains at the upper eastern end of the fire fight.

a man riding a bike down a dirt road: Jacob Saylors, 7, center and his brother Jeremy Saylors, 11, finds religious figurines still intact as they comb through the rubble for personal items that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2018. The family's home was also destroyed by another wildfire 10 years ago. © Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS Jacob Saylors, 7, center and his brother Jeremy Saylors, 11, finds religious figurines still intact as they comb through the rubble for personal items that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2018. The family's home was also destroyed by another wildfire 10 years ago. The weather service is maintaining a warning for potential for mudslides and debris flows in the fire area, but as of noon Friday, officials said there were no reports of significant run-off in the fire zone.

"Four inches is a decent amount, but it happened over a long enough time period, so, so far we haven't seen any significant mudslides or debris flows over the fire (area), which is a good thing," meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley said.

Butte County officials said the search for victims continues. More than 500 people have participated for nearly two weeks in that effort.

The fire ignited Nov. 8 in the mountains near Pulga and quickly spread west, consuming much of the towns of Paradise, Concow and Magalia.

The death toll, 84 so far, is by the far the highest toll for any recorded wild fire in state history.

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